Foster parent training in Mason County

By Erin Perkins -

POINT PLEASANT — P.R.I.D.E (Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education) training classes are coming to Mason County for potential foster parents.

On Tuesday, May 15, from 5 p.m.- 9 p.m. at Grace Baptist Church in Point Pleasant a P.R.I.D.E training class will be held. Necco Home Resource Coordinator Jessica Harrison shared during this training session the potential foster parents will be able to get the bulk of their training completed. Harrison said the training will include information such as handling children who have been through trauma, learning about West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) workers, and learning about the legalities of the foster care system. Also, foster parents and adoptive parents will be at the training to speak with the potential foster parents.

Harrison said once this portion of training is complete, the potential foster parents will then be able finish up their training in Huntington.

Harrison shared she recently lead an informational meeting at Grace Baptist Church. She shared 14 prospective families attended to learn about the ins and outs of the foster care system, what it takes to be a foster parent, and any additional information they were seeking regarding foster parenting. She said five families showed interest in continuing the process of becoming a foster parent in May.

Harrison said Mason County is in great need of foster parents as the drug epidemic has lead to many children being taken away from their homes. She has been working for Necco for 11 years and shared the type of foster parents they are searching for are both able and willing to foster trauma stricken children. Harrison explained that many people are able to foster, but not as many are willing to cope with children who have different types of needs. She added that prospective foster parents need to be aware that they may have to care for children ranging from ages infant to 18 and may be given sibling groups.

Harrison shared that since the start of this year she has opened a few homes in Mason County, but still needs more. She shared May is foster care awareness month and she is wanting to spread the word about Necco to local churches and at upcoming events within the community.

Harrison shared that when people decide to become foster parents caring for the the children is a team effort with Necco. She said that foster parents go through training to learn how to be efficient and effective foster parents. Case managers are assigned to each foster family and visit the family’s household twice a month and a 24-hour crisis pager is available for the foster parents to contact.

Harrison said if any interested families missed the informational session this month and would like to attend P.R.I.D.E training in May they may contact her at the Necco office in Huntington (304) 733-0036 and she will come to them and get them up to speed.

By Erin Perkins

Erin Perkins is a staff writer at Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.

Erin Perkins is a staff writer at Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.