Foster Parents Urgently NeededPosted: Updated:
Karen Denny became a foster parent to Sam when he was a junior at South Jefferson High School.
At the time, Denny was the principal there and says Sam was always well-liked in the community, but needed a new home.
"Loved by a lot of people, knew that he had a lot of talent and knew there was a good chance he was not going to be able to continue in our school. At that point, I decided after talking with my husband, we wanted to give this a shot," said Denny.
That was almost two years ago. In order to become a foster parent, Denny completed a 10-week training program through the Children's Home of Jefferson County.
"I think a lot of people might think, 'I'd get involved with this and I'd be left out there on my own.' But there's a lot of support with the Children's Home and with other families that are networking together to support one another," she said.
Representatives from the Children's Home of Jefferson County say the current need for foster parents is significant.
"We are in need of about 40 homes. It sounds like a lot, but if we could get one or two homes in Watertown, two in Clayton, two in Thousand Islands, two in Adams, that makes sure that when a child needs a home, they're staying where they are," said Althea McKenzie, recruitment specialist for the Children's Home.
Denny says after the extensive training, she has watched Sam grow. He's now halfway through his first semester at Onondaga Community College.
"Regardless of what happens in Sam's life, I know in the last year and a half he's grown tremendously, he's developed a lot of skills and I know he has the talent to go on and be a successful young adult," she said.
The Children's Home is holding a public information meeting Monday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Pulaski Wesleyan Church for anyone interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent.