Local

Foster care, adoption fair scheduled next week in McHenry

Jennifer Marsh talks about the process of fostering children June 20 at her home in Woodstock.
Jennifer Marsh talks about the process of fostering children June 20 at her home in Woodstock.

The nonprofit organization Let It Be Us has planned a foster care and adoption recruitment event Jan. 19 in McHenry.

There is a shortage of licensed families who can care for children in the foster care system across Illinois and McHenry County in particular. In 2018, foster parents in the county dropped by more than 20 percent, but the number of children coming into the system continues to rise, said Susan Stoga, a member of the Let It Be Us board.

The event will be from 10 a.m. to noon at the Church of Holy Apostles, 5211 Bull Valley Road, McHenry.

In Illinois, it is free to adopt a child through the foster care system. All types of families, including same-sex couples and single people, are encouraged to begin the process, Stoga said.

“Becoming a foster parent is open to virtually anyone,” she said. “There is such a need. People don’t give themselves enough credit. There is a self-perception of, ‘Oh, I couldn’t do that.’ But everyone can help the children in one way or another.”

Short-term, long-term, adoptive and respite care homes are needed, she said.

On any given day in Illinois, about 1,000 children of all ages are available for adoption.

There always is a bigger need for families willing to foster teenagers and sibling groups, Stoga said.

The event will feature two local foster parents – Woodstock mom Jennifer Marsh and Michelle Prickett – who will speak about their experiences.

Social service agencies Camelot Care Centers, Lutheran Child and Family Services and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services will be on-site during the event.

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