2013-10-30 21:22:06 - Organization Hopes to Attract 50+ Qualified Families to Serve Growing Need in West Michigan
Catholic Charities West Michigan today launched a recruiting campaign to attract more than 50 families interested in serving as foster parents.
The social service agency, which provides foster care to an average of 250+ children a day across West Michigan, has launched the recruiting campaign in counties from Ionia to Grand Traverse. Blending new techniques focused on social media with more traditional approaches such as referrals, print advertising, information “parties” and announcements in church bulletins, CCWM plans to recruit adults who share a common love of children and a strong desire to help into its growing foster care program.
One of the largest providers of foster care services in West Michigan, CCWM serves an average of 250 children each day in
counties from Ionia to Grand Traverse. The organization has more than 70 staff members focused on child welfare programs such as foster care.
“The need for caring families to provide a temporary home for children in need continues to grow in our community,” said Teresa Postema, vice president of child welfare programs for CCWM. “While we are always on the lookout for qualified families to join our foster care program, we thought it was time for an all-out recruiting effort that would help us identify more than 50 new foster parents.
“The best foster parents are flexible, kind, nurturing and loving. They have a sense of humor and a good support system that allows them to work well with others. CCWM provides extensive training and support to ensure our families have the tools and the resources they need to be successful as foster parents.”
Postema noted that CCWM plans to use a mix of the following techniques to “get the word out” about the need for foster parents:
• The organization’s web site, www.ccwestmi.org
• Social media outlets, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/CCWMI) and Twitter (@ccwestmi)
• Informational meetings and “foster-ware parties” at parishes, school carnivals, etc.
• Announcements in church bulletins and calendars
• “Backpack news” sent home with children attending Catholic schools throughout the organization’s footprint
• Referral rewards to current foster parents who refer a family to licensing or set up an information meeting at their church
CCWM is a licensed foster care provider focused on caring for neglected and at-risk children while helping birth families gain the parenting skills needed to reunite with their children. The organization currently has more than 160 foster parents, who are adults – single and married –from all ages, races and walks for life.
As an organization, CCWM is focused on family reunification, working with foster families, children and birth parents to develop a plan to reunite the family and ensure it is strong and healthy. CCWM goes well beyond state minimum requirements to provide intensive and ongoing support and education for foster parents to ensure they have the tools and the team needed to provide a safe, nurturing home.
Foster parents go through rigorous background reviews, including criminal and protective services background checks, as well as an in-depth home study before they are licensed by the state. CCWM works to find each foster child the perfect temporary home, aligning their needs with the strengths of the various foster families in the program.
“We have an ongoing need for foster families willing to provide help – and hope – to children in need,” Postema said. “The rewards for foster families are many, including the satisfaction of stepping in to help children in need, providing them a safe home and loving care, and enabling them to succeed in life.”
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about foster parent opportunities with Catholic Charities West Michigan, please call 866.857.1593, write firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit ccwestmi.org/foster-care-adoption/foster-care
About Catholic Charities West Michigan
For nearly seven decades, Catholic Charities West Michigan has been feeding the hungry, counseling those who struggle and building strong families. Through a broad spectrum of social service programs focused on the needs of children and families, CCWM serves residents of 11 counties in West Michigan. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, CCWM has more than 265 employees who work from nine locations and last year touched the lives of more than 22,000 individuals from Ludington to Ionia and points in between. For more information, visit www.ccwestmi.org.