There are 18 children in the custody of Morrow County Family and Children Services. Over half of these children are to be placed out of county due to a shortage of foster parents in Morrow County.

Foster Mom, Jenny Gray says that being a foster parent is “both challenging and very rewarding.”

Foster parents are providing a safe and stable home for children who need a place to stay. Sometimes these children need permanent homes when they cannot safely return to their own home. Many teenagers need someone to mentor them into becoming productive and successful adults.

Morrow County Children Services has worked hard to increase support to their foster parents. Children’s Services Administrator, Sharla O’Keeffe said that Morrow County Foster care rates have recently increased and are now competitive with the rates that private foster care networks pay.

O’Keeffe said the state of Ohio has received federal penalties for not meeting federal benchmarks for workers completing visits with children and parents on their caseloads. The problem the state has in monitoring children is not a problem here in Morrow County.

“We are seeing our kids,” said O’Keeffe.

She said that Morrow County far exceeds the benchmark and will receive their incentive return for a good record. Gray adds to that that she has compared notes with foster families in other counties and finds that Morrow County Children Services are much better at follow up and support.

If interested in learning about becoming a foster or an adoptive parent, you may call Amanda Kotomin at 419-949-2614. She will be having an orientation and information meeting on April 11, 2016 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Community Services Building at 619 West Marion Rd. Entrance B in Mount Gilead.

Courtesy photo Morrow County Foster families enjoy a Christmas party at Heartland Retreat Center photo Morrow County Foster families enjoy a Christmas party at Heartland Retreat Center

By Alberta Stojkovic

The Sentinel

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