May is National Foster Care Month, and the Coffee County Department of Human Resources is celebrating by hosting an annual banquet honoring foster and adoptive parents on Thursday, May 9.

Beginning at 5:30 p.m., the banquet will be held at First Baptist Church in Enterprise and will welcome foster and adoptive families for an evening of food, fun and fellowship. According to Resource Worker Dawn Martin, the event is a prime opportunity for county DHR to show their appreciation to families who have opened their homes to foster children throughout the year.

“We want to show the families how much we appreciate them and what they do for the families and children of Coffee County,” said Martin. “We’ll have food for them, and this year we’ll do a slide show with pictures of the families; we’ll also have a guest speaker and will do door prizes for the families. We will set up a booth to take family photos, and we’ll frame the photos for the families to take home. We appreciate what our families do for our children and families of Coffee County; it’s important that we at the agency and the families work well together in partnership to do what’s in the children and families’ best interests.”

Martin said that foster and adoptive families are vitally important to the community, as there is a shortage of foster families in Coffee County.

“We need homes for our children, for all ages -- birth to 21,” said Martin. “We need families that are willing or have thought about fostering to reach out; we’d love to help them and give them more information.”

To become a foster parent in Coffee County, interested families must be married at least a year, be over the age of 19, meet the requirements for criminal background checks, and go through a ten-week training course among other requirements; adoptive parents must be married at least three years, and in both cases, the families’ homes must meet the appropriate standards. Families are also needed for adult foster homes through Coffee County’s Adult Protective Services.

Foster or adoptive parents interested in attending the banquet are asked to RSVP to Dawn Martin at 334-348-2046 by May 3.

Families interested in becoming foster or adoptive parents can reach out to Coffee County DHR at 334-348-2000 for more information.

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