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Foster Parenting
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Make an Imprint on the Life of a Child...

Cook County Department of Family and Children Services

"Be A Foster Parent"

Foster Care is...

Foster care is a state program that provides temporary substitute homes for children whose families cannot provide a safe and nurturing environment for them. Foster care is designed to protect the rights of children and families. The foster care program is run in the community by the local DFCS.

Foster Parents are...

Foster parents are recruited primarily by county DFCS staff. They look for foster parents who are in good physical and mental health, with homes that meet the minimum standards set forth and approved by the Department of Human Resources. As of June 1999, there were about 3,800 family foster homes in Georgia.
Foster parents provide only temporary custody for children, but if a foster child becomes available for adoption, foster parents often adopt the child. In fact, foster parents account for more than 80 percent of DFCS adoptions.

Prospective foster parents must complete 30 hours of pre-service training (GPS/MAPP). Physical exams, drug screens, and criminal record checks are required. Homes also must meet water and gun safety requirements. Foster parents complete 15 hours of parent development training and a re-evaluation every year.

The number of children placed in a home varies from one to six (including the parents own children), and is predetermined by the parent and the DFCS agency. Foster parents are reimbursed for a childs care at a rate of $12.00 per day, but the rate is higher for children needing medical care or a higher level of supervision. Medical treatment and clothing costs are covered by the agency.

Meet Our Foster/Adoptive Parents. . .

We want a chance to introduce those who are the true backbone of Cook County's Foster Care Program...our Foster/Adoptive Parents. Each month we will be introducing one of our foster/adoptive families on this site and giving information on their outstanding work, love and caring with our community's children.

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Who:

Charlie and Lucile Walton

How Many Years:

Over 25 years as foster & adoptive parents

Number of Children Placed with Them:

The Walton's have fostered over 28 children. They have also adopted 6 children placed in their home. Their children were adopted between the ages of 3 days to 5 years and now range from 7 to 28 years of age.

Best Thing About Being a Foster Parent:

"Being there for the children when they really need someone to care, listen to their worries and an occassional shoulder to cry on."

Special Awards, Achievements and Talents:

Mr. and Ms. Walton were awarded Foster Parents of the Year for the State of Georgia in 1991. Ms. Walton is the founding member of the Cook County Foster Parents Association which was formed in 1991. She serves as the current President and is responsible for making the Association a success by including foster parents, adoptive parents and DFCS staff within the organization. The Association holds various events throughout the year including an annual Christmas Party for the foster/adoptive children. The Waltons are truly a shining beacon within the community and serve as role models for all foster parents and those special children in need.

To learn more about being a foster parent and the schedule for the next MAPP class, please contact, Leif E. Purvis at (229)896-4889.