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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 11, 2008

CONTACT
Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services (402) 471-8287

 

DHHS Hosts Public Forum on Foster Care

The Truth About Foster Care: Hear Their Stories

Lincoln – The public can hear firsthand stories from youth on the Nebraska Foster Youth Council about how foster care impacted their lives by coming to a public forum. Foster parents will also be on hand to tell their experiences about foster children living in their homes.

The forum will take place from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on June 19 at the YWCA, 221 East Fonner Park Rd., in Grand Island and is sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

"We want to give people the complete picture and share some of the many good stories about the positive difference foster parents make every day," said Todd Landry, director of the DHHS Division of Children and Family Services. "We’re hoping these stories will strike a chord in someone’s heart and encourage participants to find out more about becoming a foster parent."

"We are looking for good people to open their hearts and homes to children in need," said Yolanda Nuncio, administrator of the Central Service Area in DHHS.

Forum participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and visit with the youth, foster parents and staff. Representatives from DHHS, the Nebraska Foster and Adoptive Parents Association and other agencies will be on hand to give information about becoming a foster parent.

"We appreciate all that our current foster parents do for children, and always need more foster parents. We have over 500 central Nebraska children in some type of out-of-home placement and only 216 foster homes," Nuncio said. "Having a larger pool of qualified foster parents makes it easier to keep children in their own neighborhoods and schools and to keep siblings placed together."

For information about becoming a foster or adoptive parent, call 1-800-7PARENT or go to www.dhhs.ne.gov and search for ‘foster care.’

Becoming a foster parent is not the only way to have a positive impact on the life of a child in foster care. Other great ideas will be available at the forum. For more information, call Yolanda Nuncio at (308) 385-6147.

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