The Crow Wing County Community Services Department announced six children, who were in foster care, had their adoptions finalized in Crow Wing County earlier this month.
The Community Services Department has helped achieve adoptions for 26 children so far this year, according to Pat Sharbonda, a supervisor with the department.
“Establishing permanent homes for children is critical to their health and well being,” Sharbonda said in a news release.
Under Minnesota law, the primary goal for all children who come into the care of Crow Wing County is reunification with their parents. The parents and a child protection case manager work together to develop a case plan that will assist the parent in addressing the presenting issues and making the necessary changes in their life. These case plans often include individual and family therapy; in-home family therapy; parent education and training; chemical dependency treatment and aftercare; skills training including household management, finances, job skills, etc.; assistance in establishing adequate and appropriate housing and more.
It can be a challenge for some parents to make the necessary changes in their lives and there are laws that dictate the timelines followed. Unfortunately reunification isn’t always possible when difficult family issues are not resolved. The types of issues often include but are not limited to chemical use/abuse/addiction, unmanaged mental illness, violence and aggression, neglect, physical and sexual abuse and criminal behavior.
When parents are not able or willing to make the changes necessary to demonstrate that they can care for their children in safe and healthy ways, their parental rights may be terminated. Only a judge can decide to terminate the parental rights of an individual. In a situation where parents recognize that they are unable to care for their children they can voluntarily terminate their parental rights but even in this type of situation a judge must make a finding that this is in the best interest of the children involved.
Crow Wing County has 60 licensed foster homes. Of those homes, 44 are licensed by Crow Wing County as non-relative homes. The remaining 16 homes are licensed as relative foster homes. Of the 60 homes, 51 are permanency homes. There are an additional 25 foster homes in Crow Wing County that are licensed by other agencies.
For more information about becoming a foster parent, contact Amanda Crandall, Crow Wing County foster care licensor, at 822-7015.