Recognizing Children’s Choice for National Foster Care Month

“May is National Foster Care Month – a time to make a lasting difference in a child’s life. There are more than 400,000 American youth in foster care. No matter how much time you have to give, you can do something positive that will change a lifetime for a young person in foster care. For more information on how you can help, please visit www.fostercaremonth.org today.” Did you know there is a foster care agency on Kent Island?

Children’s Choice is a Christian social service agency, which provides specialized respite and therapeutic foster care services. Children’s Choice was founded on April 1, 1982, in Pennsylvania by Rev. Drs. William and Carolyn Eberwein, who had worked in a variety of social service fields, including church ministries, juvenile justice, prisons, and halfway houses. They began to notice that the children of some of their clients were re-entering the social service system, continuing the patterns of their parents. Drs. Bill and Carolyn felt that if they could reach out to people at an earlier age, as children, then perhaps the cycle of dependency, suffering, and failure could be broken. Children’s Choice was born. Since 1982, Children’s Choice has expanded into Maryland and Delaware, and has developed new branches of service, including respite care and therapeutic foster care.

There has been an office in Kent Island since 1994. Children’s Choice is very proud of their current foster and respite parents! They care for school aged children and teens. Some of our parents have stated that they enjoy: “being able to provide a good home to someone in need,” “seeing kids reunite with their family”, and “seeing how kids progress for the best”. One resource parent stated that she enjoyed having a foster child because she likes having “more laughter in the home.” One foster parent stated her most rewarding experience was “the reward of seeing them graduate… grow from a difficult situation to success.” If you agree with one of our foster parents who stated “I love helping, love sharing, love providing for those in need”, please contact us.

Although we have a great group of therapeutic foster and respite parents, there is an urgent need of more respite homes on the Eastern Shore. Respite care can be on an ongoing basis or a short-term basis, on a weekend, or during the day. These children often have mental health diagnosis, medical conditions, developmental delays, or are teenage parents. Their foster parents or birth families may need a break before continuing the care they lovingly give to children. Reimbursement, training, medical insurance coverage for the child, respite and social work support are provided for respite caregivers and full-time foster parents. One must be over 21 years old and have housing with at least 2 bedrooms. If you are interested in learning more about caring for youth in foster care, please call Children’s Choice at (410) 643-9290 after checking out our website at www.childrenschoice.org.

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