KINGSBURG – If you’ve ever been interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent, City Without Orphans is hosting two local events to share information on how to do so.
Local social worker Ashley Phelan said that with the current opioid crisis, the need for open homes is higher than ever.
“This workshop is designed for those who are interested, but don’t really know where to even start. I will talk about what foster care and adoption is, dispel myths and make it easy to understand. I’ll talk about how to start the process. Agencies will be on hand to answer questions, too. It is a great first step to deciding if this is a fit for your family,” she said.
Phelan, a Trust-Based Relational Intervention practitioner, is co-hosting the events and added that the simulcast and 101 Workshop are taught for a Christian faith perspective.
The first event is the “Empowered to Connect Conference” simulcast from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 5-6 at the Kingsburg First Baptist Ministry Center, 1615 Draper St. Cost is $20 per person or $25 per couple. Child care is available for $5 per child, each day. Show Hope conducts the conference that teaches families, churches and professionals how to better serve children in adoption and foster care settings. Tickets may be purchased online at http://buytickets.at/citywithoutorphans/236961.
The second event is a Fostering and Adoption 101 seminar from 9 a.m. to noon, April 13 at Grace Church of the Valley, 1101 Marion St. Registration is $15 per couple or $10 per individual and includes a continental breakfast and a workbook about fostering/adoption. The seminar covers the basics of foster care, foster adoption, private domestic adoption, international adoption, choosing the right adoption agency for you, motives and expectations, what the Bible says about orphan care and adoption, and finances. Register for this online at http://bit.ly/2XNVKGQ
City Without Orphans is sponsoring each event. The simulcast will be taught by the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development and Show Hope. Phelan will teach the 101 Workshop.
Phelan has a Christian Counseling Master’s Degree through Cairn University and works as a social worker. She consults/contracts as an adoption and foster care social worker, and also as an orphan and vulnerable children consultant and advocate, both locally and nationally.
As a Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) practitioner certified through Texas Christian University, Phelan said she’s passionate about connecting, educating and supporting the Church in the call of caring for kids.
We asked Phelan some questions about the upcoming events and who would benefit by attending. Here are her replies:
Q: Is there a charge/cost? How would participants pay?
A: Yes, all that info can be found through the link on each flier. It is a nominal fee for both. Both events are being subsidized so that costs can be very low. We don’t want money keeping people home.
Q: Who can readers call or email in case they have a question?
A: I’m happy to answer any question people might have! Text/call me at 559-305-3111 or email email@example.com
Q: Who would benefit by attending these events and why do you think they should attend?
A: The simulcast is geared towards foster and adoptive parents, but the tools taught will be applicable to any person who works with children. This can be educators (teachers/staff/principals), counselors, youth pastors, mentors, parents or social workers. This simulcast addresses how trauma, i.e. a hard birth or early hospitalization, accidents, bullying/cyberbullying, divorce, chaos or dysfunction in the house (such as domestic violence, parent with a mental illness, substance abuse or incarcerated), death of a loved one, emotional abuse or neglect, physical abuse or neglect, separation from a parent or caregiver, sexual abuse, stress caused by poverty, sudden and/or serious medical condition, violence (at home, at school, or in the surrounding community) or war/terrorism affects the body, brain, biology, behavior (this is what people need the most help with), and beliefs of a child or teen. It will go over adverse childhood experiences and how that affects a child for a lifetime if the proper intervention is not provided.
This simulcast will be taught by world-renowned experts in trauma-informed care. We are lucky to have access to the simulcast here in Kingsburg - and for a great price. Plus, I am available to help people process what they have learned and as they implement it in the months after. This simulcast is extremely relevant because almost 50 percent of children have experienced at least one traumatic event. We need to be educated in how to properly help them. This simulcast will provide many tools.
The 101 Workshop is open to anyone who is considering foster care or adoption (international, private domestic, or adopting through the foster care system). Statistics say that among those who haven’t adopted, one quarter has considered it. For foster care, nearly three in 10 American adults have considered becoming a foster parent. (Source: http://bit.ly/2tUrpZA).
There are 153 million children worldwide who have lost either one parent (single orphan) or both parents (double orphan) to death (UNICEF). Here are additional statistics:
- California Statistics: State Foster Care: 51,869
- State Count Waiting to be Adopted: 15,097 *U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.
- Fresno County Statistics: Fresno County Allegations (for one year): 19,364
- Fresno County Foster Care: 1,988 *CA Child Welfare Indicators Project.
“My goal is to help those considering it to take the next step in learning more because every child deserves a family and the need is so great,” Phelan said.