Families foster children of the future

Published 4:28 pm Wednesday, May 14, 2008

By By Lisa Tindell – editor
Foster: To bring up; nurture: bear and foster offspring or to promote the growth and development of; cultivate.
The definition of foster is basically the same in any dictionary on the shelf. If you ask Greg Dawkins, fostering takes on a whole new group of meanings when you become a foster parent.
Dawkins, along with his wife, Rhonda, and their son, Logan, have been in the Escambia County Foster Family program for five years.
Dawkins said the foster program in Escambia County may not be for everyone but it's certainly worth a look.
Dawkins said his family has provided a home and nurturing environment for several children and feel they have made a difference in the lives of those children. The family has even adopted a child through the system.
Planting a seed is what case managers and staff members at the Escambia County Department of Human Resources is hoping other families will step up and be willing to do.
Lynn Barnes, DHR director, said just as important as increasing the number of foster families, is to increase the diversity in those numbers.
The need for diversity is due to an increase in certain groups of children within the system, Barnes said.
The rise in these groups is a concern for the department who hopes to keep a child's cultural background intact if placement is required, Barnes said.
Currently, Escambia County has 17 children in the foster care system with 11 being females and six males, James said.
Barnes said DHR is always willing to speak with individuals and families who are interested in becoming a part of the foster care program for Escambia County.
To speak to someone about the foster care program in Escambia County, call the Department of Human Resources at 867-2000.
Their office is located at 326 Evergreen Ave., just behind the Escambia County Courthouse.
Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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