Foster parent training scheduled for Pine Belt region


A weekend of intense training for new foster parents is scheduled for July 29-31 at William Carey University in Hattiesburg. The goal of “Rescue 100” is to provide 100 more licensed foster homes in order to meet the needs of abused and neglected children in the Pine Belt area. This area has the second greatest need for non-relative foster homes, surpassed only by the Coast, said Susie Q. Evans, Olivia Y. Settlement Coordinator for the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services.

There are 302 licensed foster homes in Region 6, which includes Forrest, Lamar, Marion, Pearl River, Perry and Stone counties. However, only 152 homes are licensed for non-relative placement. Half of the foster care parents in the area are licensed only to care for members of their own extended families. Evans went on to say, “There are more than 800 children in foster care in Region 6. We are in dire need of non-relative foster homes. That’s why this program is so important, because it focuses on non-relative foster homes.”

As of May 31, children in foster care by county included: 188 in Forrest County, 44 in Lamar County, 217 in Marion County, 238 in Pearl River County, 38 in Perry County, and 116 in Stone County. Rescue 100 is a collaborative effort of the Mississippi Department of Child Protections Services, the Mississippi Commission on Children’s Justice, and adoption agencies include 200 Million Flowers, the Mississippi Children’s Home Society, and Southern Christian Services for Children and Youth. Area churches are also invited to join the effort.

“This is Child Protections Services, the courts and the faith-based community all coming together to meet the needs of our children” said Missisisppi Supreme Court Justice Dawn Beam of Sumrall. Organizers are planning to train 200 foster parents in Forrest, Lamar, Marion, Pearl River and Perry counties with eighty-one people already registered to participate.

Four orientations are scheduled at county courthouses across the region. Anyone interested in attending the weekend training must first attend an orientation. You can register at

The orientation will be held on July 21 between 6 and 7pm  at the Forrest County Chancery Court in Hattiesburg.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *