‘Walk and talk’ to recruit foster families in Klamath Falls

Klamath Falls, Ore. – There are currently about 300 kids in foster care in Klamath County, and there’s a strong need for more foster parents.

Child welfare workers in Klamath Falls are taking on a somewhat unusual effort to recruit more foster families.

DHS worker Mary Ann Allen says the ‘walk and talk’ effort began Monday.  “We’re actually walking down streets in the community, knocking on doors, and creating awareness for the need for foster homes in Klamath County.”

While there are more than 100 foster homes in Klamath County, about 80 percent of those are relatives of the foster kids – and more homes are needed.

“We are in desperate crisis here in Klamath County.”  States foster home certifier Anna D’Olivio.  “The need for foster homes keeps growing and growing.”

Those desperate needs require desperate measures.

DHS workers went door to door in the Ferguson School neighborhood Thursday morning.

Allen says she’s not expecting immediate results.  “Usually when we do something like this, it isn’t for a couple weeks that people will make the phone call.”

D’Olivio says the reactions are varied.  “I think it’s been mixed, but overall, pretty positive – I’m actually quite pleased.”

Interested families will be carefully screened before a child is placed in their care.

“We’re not going to just throw a kid in your door.”  Notes Allen.  “But a lot of times people have been contemplating doing foster care for a long time.  And maybe when we knock on their door, they’re saying, ‘Oh – maybe this is the time.”

You can find out more information about becoming a foster family in Klamath Falls by calling:  (541) 850-6800.

The need for foster parents isn’t limited to Klamath County.

You can contact your local DHS office for information on how you can help out a kid in need.

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