Urgent need for foster families in Philadelphia

Stephanie Laws talks about the joys of being a foster parent, flanked by a sign with information about a new campaign to recruit more of them. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Stephanie Laws talks about the joys of being a foster parent, flanked by a sign with information about a new campaign to recruit more of them. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

The city of Philadelphia is stepping up recruitment efforts to enlist more foster parents.

At any time, hundreds of children need a foster home, said Cynthia Figueroa with the city’s Department of Human Services.

“Fostering provides you a temporary arrangement where you’re housing a child in your home because, at the time, the bioparents are working on hoping to reunify,” she said. “They may have some issues they are facing.”

Taking in a foster child is challenging and rewarding, said foster parent Stephanie Laws.

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“It takes stability, it takes commitment, it takes teamwork, it takes love more than anything, and an open mind to many different cultures and backgrounds,” she said.

Without a foster home, children are placed in group homes, but officials said they can’t get the same support in those situations.

On Thursday beginning at 4 p.m., volunteers at a phone bank will try to recruit families; more than two dozen experts will be on hand to explain the responsibilities of foster parenting.

The call-in event is sponsored by NBC10, Telemundo62, the Philadelphia Department of Human Services and its 25 provider agencies.

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