By Janice Eck
(Victor Valley) Foster parents play a vital role in the community. As a foster parent, responsibility lies on individuals and parents to provide a temporary home to children in need of parental supervision no matter what kind of unfortunate circumstance the child’s natural parents have come across. Being a foster parent takes a great amount of support from the community and the Greater Hope Foundation for Children, Inc. is a great community builder for foster parents.
The Greater Hope Foundation is a hands-on organization that helps children by rooting itself in preparing people to be foster parents and building a network of support for foster families through training, various events throughout the year, and around-the-clock support. Foster parents can also receive CPR and First Aid certifications and be fingerprinted at the Foundation, services which are available to the entire community.
Jessi Hodges, Foster Parent Recruiter, briefly describes to High Desert Daily the training services they provide, “We do free foster parent training for people who are interested in becoming foster parents and also for people who are already foster parents to continue their education about different techniques, different children, and different types of behaviors. We have a very wide variety of services that we provide not only to the community, but also to our parents and our foster children.”
To help build a bond within the foster family and to ensure both foster children and parents are enjoying their time in foster care, the Foundation holds a wide scale of events such as the Holiday of Hope Party, Trunk-or-Treat Halloween, Zumbathon, Barstow Pub Crawl, and so much more. Tickets to amusement parks such as Legoland and seasonal events such as Knott’s Scary Farm are also provided. The Foundation also buses families to those types of events all for the purpose of letting foster children experience activities and events so many of them have never seen or been a part of.
The Foundation provides a great deal of support for foster parents with someone available 24 hours a day to answer any questions a foster parent may have. The Foundation also has a donation center, located in Barstow, stocked with clothing, beds, cribs, diapers, food and a host of other supplies as Hodges explains, “If the child comes with nothing, which 9 out of 10 times they do, we could provide them with clothing, pajamas, shoes, a backpack, things of that nature, to get them through the first couple of days until they get situated. A lot of the children, if they come on a weekend, our office doesn’t open back up again until Monday, so we have that donation center for our families to utilize.”
The Greater Hope Foundation is a foster agency that empowers foster parents through networking and the community to provide the best possible temporary homes for the children. The Foundation provides free orientation 3 times a month, but with the holidays, the next orientations will be held January 10, 18, and 24. To R.S.V.P., please contact the Greater Hope Foundation in Victorville at 760-243-3999. Orientation is a great starting point for people who are curious about being a foster parent and for people who have a desire to foster, but don’t know where to start.
For more information, visit http://www.greaterhopefoundation.com/ .