Omni Visions – a foster-care placement agency that provides services for adults and children throughout Tennessee – has launched a campaign under the theme “Power to the Family,” aimed at encouraging qualified adults to consider joining the network of foster parents across Tennessee who are making positive, direct impacts on young lives each day.
“In every state we serve, including Tennessee the demand for stable, caring foster homes far exceeds current availability, based on the volume of children in need,” said Omni Visions President and CEO Jane Wintz.
“To our team, empowerment is the most uplifting mantra for children, for foster care-givers and for each foster child’s birth family to regain health, stability and unity, as possible,” Ms.
Wintz said. “Empowerment requires the strongest support system available to those in the foster care system, with information, guidance, training, resources and a humanity-centric focus available for everyone – children, foster parents and families in general.”
According to Omni Visions – which has served as a foster care placement service for some 25 years – prospective foster parents generally consider their decision to offer a foster home one to two years, on average, before moving forward with the qualification, training and licensing process.
“It’s certainly not a snap-decision, nor should it be,” Ms. Wintz said. “Providing a foster home to one or more children is one of the most important and personal decisions an adult can make – and it’s critical for that decision to be accurately informed, as well as adequately supported, once the decision is made to move forward in that role.”
The first step in the consideration and licensing process to become a foster parent is to tap into a strong support system that will help guide, educate and assist foster-family prospects each step of the way, with 24/7/365 personal contact, training, resources and encouragement, officials said.
You don’t need a lot of money or a lot of room to become a foster parent. Key qualifications for adults to become a foster parent include:
Be 25+ years of age, or if a two-parent home, at least one applicant must be 25+
Can be married, single, or divorced
May or may not have children
Can own or rent your home/apartment
Must be a citizen of the United States
Home must have a bedroom to accommodate a foster child/children
All applicants in the home must be able to attend agency training
Valid state driver's license, with reliable transportation
Be financially stable, employed, or retired
Have a physical completed by your primary care physician
Pass all background checks along with a drug screen
Dolores Thomas, an Omni Visions foster parent who resides in Tennessee, has fostered about 20 children over the years and has found that with support, being a foster parent is not only manageable but rewarding.
“I don’t feel fostering is overwhelming,” said Ms. Thomas. “Omni Visions provides classes and these classes are very good and helpful. They make sure whatever you need concerning the children is covered. And these children need you, you know? They need stability. They need love. They need structure. But the children bring a lot to your home as well. They bring life and joy. Fostering has put a love in my heart. I love it.”
Omni Visions encourages qualified Tennessee adults to consider becoming a foster parent. Learn more about how you or a friend can become a foster parent at powertothefamily.com