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Local foster care programs searching for homes to help children in need

WECT's Bill Murray spoke with Brian Bocnuck to learn more about the need for foster families
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 6:11 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Currently, 280 children in New Hanover County and 180 children in Brunswick County are in the foster care system. Local programs are raising awareness about the children in need and how people can help.

According to the latest Children’s Bureau data, the foster care system nationally assists 407,000 children. Of these, 34% were placed with relatives or close friends. 45% of foster children stay in a family home with a non-relative, and the other 21% are split between group homes, institutions, and other settings.

“There is a big need for foster parents to help care for our teenagers between 13-17 years old,” said NHC Permanency Planning Manager Brian Bocnuk. “This demographic is sometimes not thought about when we talk about foster homes. The reality is there are teens that have the same needs as younger children and we sometimes struggle to find the right foster homes for them.”

If you’re interested in becoming a foster home provider, you need to complete Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting (MAPP) training for foster parents. You can take these classes with the county, and the next training session is set for July.

To learn more or sign up, contact the NHC Foster Care Licensing Supervisor Alice Moore at amoore@nhcgov.com or 910-798-3566 or on the NHC website.

Brunswick County Social Services invites people interested in fostering to a free information session on May 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. The session will be held at the Department of Social Services building (60 Government Center Drive NE, Bolivia). You can learn more online and RSVP by contacting Matthew Ames at 910-253-2112 or matthew.ames@brunswickcountync.gov.

If you don’t live in New Hanover or Brunswick County, see below to learn more at your county’s foster care website:

Pender County

Columbus County

Bladen County

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