Fairfax County is looking for adults who are interested in being foster parents.
According to county officials, there are 500 children in foster care in the county, 100 of those children from the Route 1 corridor. There are only 16 foster families in that same area and only 240 throughout the county.
“Some families are concerned because of the recent publicity about foster care systems and some just don’t understand the kind of support and training that we provide,” said Rosa Suau, the foster care recruiter for Fairfax County Social Services. “We give our foster parents a lot of support.”
FOSTER PARENTS can be single, married or divorced. “Really, one of our only requirements is that they be 21 years old or older,” Suau said. They must, of course, agree to undergo a complete criminal history check.
“We must ensure that our children are placed in safe, secure, loving families,” Suau said.
Foster parents undergo nine weeks of training, conducted in three-hour sessions each week. “We also provide special training for those families who are interested in becoming therapeutic foster parents for children with special needs,” Suau said.
Generally, foster children are in the county’s care because of abuse or neglect and most are school age.
The county specifically needs bilingual families who speak Spanish and English. The county provides a program called Spanish Chat that is available, free of charge, at all of the Fairfax County regional libraries.
Anyone who wishes to inquire further about becoming a foster parent should call 703-324-7939.