Harnichar said classes are available at any time for a foster parent to attend. And open houses are coming up. Sessions will be from 10 a.m. to noon and from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 25 at Cadence Care Network training building, 39 N. Main St, Niles; and on March 19 the sessions will be held from 10 a.m. to noon and from 5 to 7 p.m. in the small meeting room of the Austintown Library, 600 S. Raccoon Road.
Maddie Williams, foster parent recruiter / intake worker, said the open houses are for anyone age 21 and older interested in being a foster parent.
Harnichar said the number of foster care referrals has doubled over the last two years, in part because of the opioid epidemic, and the agency is in need of additional foster parents in Trumbull, Mahoning, Columbiana and Ashtabula counties to provide a safe home for children.
In 2019 in Ohio 16,000 children were in foster care and in 2020 it is expected to reach 20,000, Palmer said.
When the organization started in 1990, the nonprofit worked with local childrens’ services boards to offer placement services to foster children and to certify and support foster parents, and so the name Homes for Kids Inc. was selected, Harnichar said.