Awareness walkers hit the streets
Earlier this year, the Guilford County Department of Social Services had an unusual abandoned baby case in Greensboro.
A District Court judge gave temporary custody of the 5-day-old to DSS. Within two months, the baby had foster parents. Abandoned baby cases are rare. It’s more likely that DSS looks to find adoptive parents for teens. In 2011, 68 children in Guilford County were adopted from foster care and eight of those children were teenage adoptions.
“Every child deserves a forever family,” is one motto social workers took to the streets Tuesday in High Point as part of National Adoption Awareness Month.
The agency promotes adoption to reduce the number of children in foster care. The agency’s successful foster care program has won recognition from the Annie B. Casey Foundation and other groups for reducing the number of children in DSS custody. The number declined from 575 in May in 2005 to 350 in October. The average foster child knows nine relatives, according to experts.
“We want to keep the foster to adoption going so the kids can have a permanent family. We have a lot of relative adoptions and that is one thing we want to do,” said Nedra Turner of DSS Child Welfare.
With five adoption social workers, DSS also works with private adoption agencies and Children’s Home Society of North Carolina as well to place children.
“The paperwork is about the same as for a private agency,” Turner said. “It can take six months to a year to finish the adoption.”