Bill Grose 53, is an independent provider for people with developmentally disabled. Though not married, he always wanted children of his own. Four years ago he decided to make his dream happen. He knew there was a community need to find loving homes for children so he became a foster parent to five children from tweens to teens.
The local agency, Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth (SAFY) of Findlay, helped Grose navigate the process. According to SAFY Foster Parent Recruiter Miranda Cherry, when an individual decides to become a foster parent a home visit is made to explain the process and answer questions. Next, the foster parent candidate(s) attend 12 pre-service training classes.
Once an application is submit and background checks are completed, a home safety plan is put into place by Family Development Specialist, Ivy Babb. Placement determinations are made and the family/household becomes licensed. SAFY provides a case coordinator and home visits are made at least two times a month to ensure that children receive quality therapeutic assistance.
The need for foster families
Cherry, a former foster youth adopted through SAFY, believes that the need for foster parents has escalated in recent years.
“Due to the opioid epidemic there are many more children needing foster care,” Cherry said. “We have so many children coming into care that we can’t place them. We have a lack of homes that can take sibling groups.”
Cherry said an ideal foster parent is someone who has a passion to help children, has a flexible schedule, can transport children to and from visitations and can provide a healthy, loving home.
Grose feels he has those qualities to offer and it is the reward he receives from giving of himself that keeps him going as a foster parent.
“You aren’t just taking the child,” Grose said. “You’re taking their past which in return can form their future. We need families that are dedicated, strong, and believe you can change lives. Although your first placement can make you nervous, once you receive your first child the rewarding feeling of helping them will replace the feeling of nerves immediately. The longer I’m a foster parent, the more rewarding it is to me, as well as to the children.”
For more information on becoming a foster parent, you may contact
Miranda Cherry at SAFY at 419-427-332, ext. 1512.