Regional Foster Parent Training Conference Draws Over 200 People

A recent regional Foster Parent Training Conference, hosted by the Mid Shore Departments of Social Services and the Child Welfare Academy, drew over 200 attendees. The conference participants were diverse and included foster parents, social workers, vendors, Social Services Advisory Board members, and youth in foster care from across the state. The training conference, held at Chesapeake College, provided foster parents with their annual training in one location, while also providing networking opportunities. Workshops included training on behavior management and diversity among foster children.

This year’s regional foster parent conference, entitled “Because We Care,” included an activity called “A Day in the Life of a Biological Parent.” This activity simulated the challenges experienced by the biological parents whose children are in foster care and was created by Debbe Dotson, an instructor in Social Work at Salisbury University, and Salisbury University Social Work students, who are currently interning at the Talbot County Department of Social Services.

Area foster parents and their families will gather on Saturday, May 7, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the annual Multicultural Festival in Idlewild Park in Easton to celebrate Foster Parent Appreciation Month. The Mid Shore Departments of Social Services will participate in the event in order to showcase the need for foster and adoptive parents in the region. The Multicultural Festival is a celebration of culture, including exhibits, food, games, entertainment, live music, and face-painting. The rain location for the event is to be announced. Upcoming foster parent information sessions will be held on April 20, 2011 at the Caroline County Department of Social Services, 207 S. Third Street in Denton and June 9, 2011 at the Talbot County Department of Social Services, 301 Bay Street, Unit #5 in Easton. All sessions are from 6 to 7:30 p.m. For further information about becoming a foster parent, contact Katie Russ at the Talbot County Department of Social Services at 410-770-4848.