Rebekah Galle, Foster Parent Recruiter from Methodist Foster Care spoke to the Kiwanis Club, Tuesday, May 17th at the Pea Patch at noon. She is trying to build awareness of therapeutic foster care in our area which is region 6 out of Alexandria. There are no therapeutic foster parents in Winn parish.
Methodist Foster Care is a statewide non-profit that includes children from birth to 21 years old. It is under the umbrella of Louisiana United Methodist Family Services. Ms. Galle’s job is to recruit, train and certify people for therapeutic foster care. Therapeutic foster care serves children who have been through extensive trauma. Some of these children have medical needs and/or developmental needs. They look for people who have experience working with children. They focus on trauma in the training which is really important. This is how they are different from foster parents who might be associated with DCFS. They learn about TBRI (trauma based relational intervention). Foster parents need to show these children love. The foster families are visited by a child placement worker once a week, meeting with parents and children. The child placement person is available to them 24/7. After the initial training, there is ongoing yearly training. The training can take place in the home. You do not have to go out of town to attend training.
There are also respite foster parents who also go through the training. They take children on weekends, school breaks and vacations when foster parents need a break or have to be gone for some reason.
Statistics show that 1 in 5 foster children become homeless after aging out of the system and 1 in 4 end up in the justice system. Extended foster care is available for 18 – 21 year olds as a transition time but it is up to the child whether to stay in the system or age out.
In response to a question, Ms. Galle said they receive 40 – 50 requests per week for foster children placements.
Pictured above: Left Kiwanian Kim Futrell and Rebekah Galle, Foster Parent Recruiter from Methodist Foster