Hickory – Churches in Catawba County are invited to participate in Foster Care Sunday on May 22. This event will emphasize the need for more foster parents throughout the county.

Foster Care Sunday is being sponsored by Family Builders, the foster and adoption unit of Catawba County Social Services, which has an average 230 foster children in its care at any given time. There is an urgent need for more foster parents, who provide a temporary, loving home for these children until they can reunite with their parents, be placed with guardians, or be adopted. Placement with family members or relatives is preferred when possible. Social Services always tries to place foster children within their home county, preferably in their home school district, to minimize disruption in their lives.

“If one family in every Catawba County church would become a foster family, we would not have a shortage of foster homes,” said Megan Hildebran, foster parent recruiter and trainer.” Foster parents must undergo a background check and attend training. “Our social workers are always available to respond to the needs and questions of foster parents,” she said. “We hope that church members in our county will prayerfully consider becoming foster parents.”

Churches may participate in Foster Care Sunday by placing a notice in their church bulletin, making an announcement during church services, or by other means of their choice. Speakers will not be available for all churches, due to the large number of churches in the county.

Social Services offers a free, no-obligation information meeting on the second Tuesday of each month for persons who are considering becoming foster or adoptive parents. The next meeting will be April 12 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Family Services Center, located at 3050 11th Ave. Dr. SE Hickory. There will also be a special morning informational meeting at the same location at 8-10 a.m. on March 31.

Persons interested in becoming foster or adoptive parents, and members of local churches or other organizations that are interested in assisting in this effort, are encouraged to contact Megan Hildebran. She may be reached at mhildebran@catawbacountync.gov or by calling 828-695-4553. Additional information about the fostering process may be found at http://www.fostercatawba.com.