Foster parent information offered at Looking into the Future Conference

Published 11:51 pm Wednesday, June 14, 2017

By Christian Coffman

NATCHEZ — If you’ve ever considered becoming a foster parent or adoptive parent you may want to consider attending a free meeting today intended to share information about the opportunities.

Southern Christian Services for Children and Youth, Inc. as part of the organization’s conference in Natchez this week will host the informational meeting from noon to 1 p.m. today at the Natchez Convention Center.

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Also featured will be the Mississippi Heart Gallery, a portrait exhibit displayed to bring awareness of Mississippi children available for adoption through the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services.

“Every child needs the security of a family, someone who cares about them and helps them heal from the past abuse and neglect from the past,” Tana Walker with the SCSCY said.

The goal of the portrait exhibit is to help children find “forever families” — a permanent family for an adopted or foster child — and will be displayed during the informational meeting.

Walker works as a Senior Recruitment Specialist for SCSCY, recruiting and training potential foster parents and works with the Mississippi Heart Gallery.

“I match children with families,” Walker said. “There are thousands of children in foster care and nowhere near enough families to provide for them.”

Walker said the major talking points at the come-and-go meeting will be about the requirements to become a foster parent and the need for them, as well as to answer any questions attendees pose.

“Foster parents would have to go through a rigorous and thorough background check, a home study to check for safety and have space for a child and…have sufficient income to raise a child,” Walker said.

Thursday will mark the first time the SCSCY has scheduled an informational meeting in Natchez. The meeting is a part of the Look into the Future Conference, which began Wednesday and continues through Friday. The conference is a professional meeting for social workers, foster parents and professionals.

The theme of the conference this year is Putting the Pieces back together: Hope, Help, Healing. The conference has been held for 29 years.

SCSCY works in conjunction with the Mississippi Department of Child Protective Services. The children placed in the foster homes are in the custody or MDCPS.

“A lot of people have questions about policy, what they have to do,” Walker said. “There is support … social workers who walk along the side of becoming licensed, to help foster parents and children.”

Call 601-528-2233 or visit twalker@ for more information.