(KSLA) - The month of May is designated as National Foster Care month and the Department of Children and Family Services is launching a new foster parent campaign.
Last year, DCFS served 7,868 children in foster care, with an average of 4683 children in care each month, according to a news release.
However, only about 2,250 certified foster homes were in Louisiana. Roughly a third of children in the foster care system were reunited with their families.
"We recruit and certify new foster homes every year, but we always need more. The need is especially critical for families willing and able to take in sibling groups, youth and medically fragile children," said DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters.
The new campaign aligns the department's foster parent recruitment efforts with the Quality Parenting Initiative, according to a news release.
QPI an approach to foster care that DCFS rolled out across the state in 2017. QPI focuses on providing children with quality parenting every day, regardless of where they live, by emphasizing teamwork among foster parents, agency staff and birth parents.
DCFS foster parent orientation and pre-service classes - required to become a certified foster parent - also have been redesigned in accordance with QPI principles.
The classes focus on teamwork, clarification of roles, trauma and Trust-Based Relational Intervention, helping foster parents better understand the child's needs and how to work with the biological family.
For more information about becoming a foster parent, or to see schedules for orientation and pre-service classes across the state, click here.
To support foster children and foster parents, click here.