During the month of November, the Buncombe County Health and Human Services (BC HHS) Foster Care Program and the Buncombe County Commissioners would like to celebrate the adoptive families in our community.
This year, 20 children in the BC HHS Foster Care program were adopted by their foster families. BC HHS and our County Commissioners would like to congratulate these adoptive families and honor their example by recognizing November as Adoption Awareness Month in Buncombe County.
With over 409 young people in foster and extended foster care, children in care in Buncombe County need you now- more than ever. Becoming a foster parent or adoptive parent is one of the most impactful ways that you can help children right here in Buncombe County. Currently, 23 children in Buncombe County Foster Care are cleared for adoption and waiting to find their adoptive families.
“Adoptive families are lucky families that are able to adopt their foster children,” says Heather Hill-Pavone, Foster Care Social Worker. She continues, “While reunification with the birth family is the primary goal of foster care, adoption is the outcome for some of our children and foster families and it is a very special moment when we are able to support a forever family.”
To assist in raising awareness of adoptive families and the need for more foster and forever families, Commissioners read an Adoption Awareness Month proclamation at their regular meeting on Nov. 15.
The remaining 310 children in care need foster families at home, in Buncombe County. “Imagine being a young person, uprooted from your home community and taken to live somewhere where you don’t know anyone or any place,” says Foster Care Program Manager, Lizzi Shimer. This is the story for over 100 foster children who are currently placed outside of Buncombe County because of a foster parent shortage. Kids who are placed outside their home communities are less likely to be reunified with their biological families and experience more difficulty socially, emotionally, and academically. Becoming a foster or adoptive parent is a big commitment that requires a lot of preparation and support and BC HHS is here to support that journey. Our highly qualified team of social workers have the resources and experience it takes to help make the transition into parenthood successful for prospective foster families.
Adoptive parent, Amy Huntsman, says, “Adopting children has been the most rewarding and challenging experience of my life. A strong community of friends and family here at home made it possible for my girls to find their forever landing spot and connections here in Asheville.”
Showing up for children in Buncombe starts with taking the Foster Parent licensing course. For more information about fostering in Buncombe County and to sign up for a licensing course, visit buncombecounty.org/foster or call (828) 250-5868. To learn more about children who are eligible for adoption in Buncombe County or across the state of North Carolina visit adoptuskids.org.
Prepared by Buncombe County.