Be Family for a Child in Need
For a child who has experienced abuse, neglect and/or loss, sometimes the comfort of being a part of a nurturing family is the right setting to bring life-transforming change. Epworth’s Foster Care Program provides qualified foster parents with the training, tools, and support they need to make a difference in the lives of children. Your nurturing care, persistent involvement, and ceaseless encouragement to a child in your care can help break destructive cycles and create meaningful and lasting change in his/her life.
The Need is Now
There is an urgent need for foster parents in South Carolina. Currently, more than 4,000 children in South Carolina are in the foster care system, and at least 1,900 more homes are needed. When you open your home and your heart you will provide one (or more) of these children with a safe place they can call home and create a sense of belonging during their time of need.
The Epworth Difference
The vision for the new Foster Care Program is grounded in the understanding that resource families and the children in their care are fully supported by Epworth’s commitment to excellence. Resources families benefit from proven, research-based training and around-the-clock support from Epworth Foster Care staff members. The children who reside with private resource families benefit from participating in already successful counseling, tutoring, and extra-curricular activity centers currently offered to children in Epworth’s residential services program.
The Foster Care Program will serve children in our community by incorporating Epworth’s commitment to providing comprehensive care for all clients. Epworth’s pledge to recruit loving, nurturing families builds upon strong existing relationships within United Methodist congregations and other community networks. The initial foster homes will serve in the greater Columbia area with plans for future expansion into other geographic areas in need.
What will be expected of me?
Epworth acknowledges that fostering is a significant commitment to a child in need. Therefore, foster parents of Epworth Children’s Home agree to:
- Work as a team/accept assistance and follow suggestions;
- Develop and nurture a strong support system;
- Advocate for the child(ren) whom we serve;
- Actively participate in all aspects of care (schooling, counseling, medical care, court dates, etc.);
- Be honest and transparent about sharing information including changes in household, employment and any medical or personal changes that alter your ability to provide care;
- Use Foster Care funds appropriately and keep receipts;
- Maintain licensing standards in your home;
- Be available for DSS and Epworth home visits;
- Attend required trainings;
- Reach out for help;
- Refrain from using corporal punishment on all children in your home;
- Treat foster children with the same privileges and rights as you would/do your own children;
- Assist foster children in pursuing their passions and talents; and
- Be a source of nurturing care, persistent involvement, and ceaseless encouragement to the children in your home.
What can I expect from Epworth?
Our mission is “to serve children, youth, and families through a caring, accepting and safe Christian Community where hurts are healed; hope is nurtured; and faith in God, self, and others is nurtured.” We are committed to helping you be the best foster family you can be. To that end, Epworth promises:
- To engage in a mutually respectful relationship;
- To follow up concerns or requests promptly;
- To maintain your confidentiality;
- To be available to you by phone or in person in times of need;
- To be honest in sharing information;
- To keep you informed of trainings and services available to you;
- To advocate on your behalf;
- To return non-emergent phone calls within 24 hours;
- To start and end meetings and trainings on time;
- To provide reasonable access, in many cases, to our on-campus health center, tutoring, recreation facility, and to assist in selecting counseling services;
- To walk you through each step of licensure and re-licensure; and
- To be a constant source of support and encouragement to your family.
For answers to some frequently asked questions, please click the following link:
803-256-7394 Ext: 166
803-256-7394 Ext: 176
If you are in need of Emergency Crisis Intervention, please call 911, 1-800-4-A-CHILD or 1-800-4-A-Parent.