Free foster parent classes

Reported by: Megan Wise
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Updated: 5/17/2013 7:09 pm
Adoption classes will be offered free of charge in Hamilton County.

Centerstone Foster Care is actively looking for foster parents in southeast Tennessee. Michelle Snow, Centerstone Foster Care Coordinator said, "There are 20,000 children in America who are ready to be adopted." The children in the Centerstone program aren't babies, but are youth typically between 12 and 18 years old. Snow stated that several future foster parents do not want to adopt older children. She went on to say that the opinion changes over time. Snow said, "I've had foster parents, that once they agree to take a teenager, specifically boys, they don't go back to anything else."

Ed Doreau, a Mental Health Counselor with CBI Counseling in Chattanooga, explained how children coming into adoption care have experienced trauma, but there is always hope. Doreau said, "Kids can adapt. A child's adaptability is a pretty impressive thing." With the help of classes for future foster parents, the adaptability will become easier. The classes are designed to help parents understand the challenges children face. Snow said, "Just learning how to identify their feelings, what to do with their anger and hurt and being able to understand that they can express that. They of course need to be able to learn to do that in an effective way, but to be able to do that, and its okay." The classes elaborate more on the child welfare system, impact of trauma, effective discipline, an expert panel, first aid, CPR, medication administration and other physical and emotional needs their adoptive or foster children may have.

If you are interested in registering for the courses contact Michelle Snow at michelle.snow@centerstone.org or by phone at 423-710-5843.
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