National Foster Care Month

Local News Stories

ZANESVILLE, Ohio – May marks National Foster Care Month which provides opportunities to shed light on the importance and need of foster care as well as recognize the foster parents who graciously accept less fortunate children into their homes.

Muskingum County Adult and Child Protective Services Human Resources and Public Information Officer Melissa Wood explained the local need for foster parents and how the pandemic has played a role.

“So we all lived through Covid together and we’re starting to come out of Covid but during that time, a lot of our families experienced crisis. So we had lots of children who are coming into foster care. And when you have so many foster homes, which we currently have 65 licensed foster homes through Muskingum County Adult and Child Protective Services, but those homes get filled up. So we really have a need for foster parents,” Wood said.

Muskingum County Adult and Child Protective Services push efforts to keep children with relatives but that isn’t always the outcome. The basic qualification of being a foster parent is being compassionate and understanding as well as being available and flexible enough to spend time with a child. 

But some of the legal requirements include a series of background checks, a 3-6 month home study process and home safety inspection. A free certification training, called the lightning round, will be offered in August. 

“So I think during Covid, a lot of our families experienced that crisis,” Wood said. “Whether that was because maybe they lost their job, maybe that stress exasperated some mental health, maybe that led to substance abuse. We just know that families were experiencing crisis. We had kids who were not in school, so they’re all home together all day long and it was just a really stressful circumstance.”

Wood noted that becoming a foster parent in Muskingum County will benefit the community and keep the children close to what they are familiar with.

If you would like to know more about foster parenting you can call the Muskingum County Adult and Child Protective Services at (740) 455-6710