June 9, 2016
Epworth Children’s Home was licensed as a Child Placing Agency on May 24th of this year. This license is in addition to the Child Caring license that has been in effect for many years. This license is a major step in establishing the Epworth Center for Excellence in Foster Care and Adoption.
Through this center, Epworth will concentrate on recruiting, equipping, and providing the support systems to foster parents, adoptive parents, and in some cases relatives who provide kinship care. For the purposes of this article, these families will be referred to as “Resource Families”. The term “resource family” refers to anyone who provides a safe, stable, loving home for a child when the child’s birth parents are unable to provide one.
In South Carolina, there is a large gap between foster families and children who need a stable loving family. Epworth and places like Epworth fill part of that need for many children, but we need additional options in our state. That is one reason Epworth is embarking on this mission. Another reason is when Epworth children are ready to transition to a family, and their biological family is not an option, there will be families available that can provide a good home.
When the center is fully functioning it will include: Recruiting and training of foster families that have the essential traits that predict successful placements, assistance during the complex licensing process for foster parents, support and case management before, during, and after child placement, guidance and support for foster families that seek to adopt foster children. This ministry program will focus on enlisting congregations as bases for recruiting, training and supporting of nurturing, stable, faith-related families.
Epworth is now searching for a director, recruiter, and case managers for the Center for Excellence in Foster Care and Adoption. For additional information visit the Epworth Children’s Home website: www.epworthchildrenshome.org.
The plan is to begin in the midlands of South Carolina and grow through our churches into other districts of the conference.