How did Rescue 100 get started and why?
The idea originated in Gulfport where Michael Memorial Baptist church held the first ever Rescue 100 weekend. Over the course of one weekend, they trained 50 families to be certified foster homes. Social workers from MDCPS then completed home studies in waves over the next several weeks. Once families had successfully finished their home studies, MDCPS licensed them to receive children, based on their preference for age and gender.
What is a Resource Family? Is it the same thing as a Foster Family?
“Resource family” is a term frequently used to describe a family who is licensed to take in foster children. It is the same thing as a Foster family or parent. In Mississippi, a Foster Family must be licensed by the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services to be able to care for foster children in their home.
Does it cost to attend the Rescue 100 training weekend?
No, it is completely free of charge. With almost 6,000 foster children in Mississippi, these organizations work together to provide this weekend to interested families at no cost to the family. However, a great deal of money goes into these training weekends so Rescue 100 depends on support from the local faith-based community to continue our effort to connect children with loving families.
What do I need to bring with me to the Rescue 100 training weekend?
For the Rescue 100 Training Weekend, please bring the items found on the What to Bring checklist. Please note that ORIGINALS are needed of some items listed. If COPIES are requested, please bring them with you. There will not be a copier available on-site during the Training Weekend.
What can my church do to help?
- Allow a volunteer to give an 8-minute presentation one Sunday
- Allow us to include an insert in your Sunday bulletin
- Commit to preach a message regarding foster care
- Host a 1-hour Orientation for the community to learn more
- Sponsor a meal or snack for the Rescue 100 training weekend
- Meet and discuss ways your church can support foster parents in your congregation and community
What are qualifications to be a foster parent?
- At least 21 years of age
- Legally married or legally single
- A legal resident of Mississippi
- Able to pass a criminal background check
- Financially sufficient
- Parenting no more than four children living in their home
To be licensed, you must attend an orientation session, make an application to become a foster parent, pass a background check, complete PATH and safety training classes and have home visits. You will be interviewed by an MDCPS license specialist.
Do I have to commit to being a foster parent to attend Orientation or Training?
Not at all! The purpose of the 1-hour orientation sessions is to give anyone interested in the process a chance to ask questions and to receive more information before moving forward into training. Foster parents are never forced to continue if they no longer feel they are able to foster, for whatever reason.
What should I know about Foster Parenting?
The goal for most children in foster care is to be reunited with their parents. Foster families work with birth parents to achieve this goal. The length of time a child will stay with you depends on many factors. It could be for a few days, a few months, or much longer. It is important to note that medical and dental costs are covered for children in foster care. Teens in foster care are eligible for programs to help them learn life skills and may be eligible for some college financial assistance.
Are there different types of Foster Care?
- Emergency/Respite Care: A child may be in need of short-term placement for various reasons. Respite care is available when Resource Parents need a break for a short period of time, become ill, or have an emergency. Also, some children need to be quickly placed in a safe home until a more long-term placement can be arranged.
- Regular Foster Care: Regular care entails a family home where a child will live as part of the family until the birth family is reunited with the child or the child is freed for adoption.
- Therapeutic Foster Care: Some children need more specialized care due to medical, emotional, or developmental issues. Therapeutic Foster Parents obtain a special license that certifies their ability to care for children with special needs. This license is granted through private agencies. MDCPS can assist you in finding a local therapeutic provider.
How is caring for a foster child different from caring for my own child?
In many ways, it is the same. Foster children need to know that you will be there for them no matter what. Foster children may have different experiences than your own children and need an additional level of care. They need you to teach them new skills, help them cope with new experiences, and support them through the transition of being in foster care.
Will I be “rescuing” a child from an abusive or neglectful parent?
Many people may believe the child will be grateful and relieved to be out of their home situation. This is rarely the case. The child’s situation is normal to him or her, and being separated from family can be traumatic and stressful. Children often need time to establish trust.
What about children who have been neglected or physically, sexually, or mentally abused?
These children can be angry, resentful, and sad. They may act out or take it out on their foster family. The agency provides training to help foster parents work with these situations.
Foster parents are individuals or married couples who complete the steps to become licensed to serve as caretakers for foster children. They work with birth families and hope changes are made that will allow the children to return to a safe home. Foster parents may choose to adopt the children if this is not possible.
These families provide a safe and stable environment for children who may be experiencing stress and trauma from recent life changes. They receive a monthly reimbursement to help offset the cost of caring for children. Social workers visit the home on a regular basis to provide services and support to the children and family.
Have you ever felt the need to help children in foster care?
Do you feel as if you could open up your home and become a foster parent? Here are some basic facts about becoming a foster parent through the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services:
- Are legal Mississippi residents.
- Can pass a criminal background check.
- Are at least 21 years old.
- May be legally married or legally single.
- Have no more than four children living in the home.
- Are financially self-supporting
Who are the children most in need of stable foster homes?
- Sibling groups
- Children who have been sexually abused
- Children with psychological/developmental issues
- Children who need to be taught new coping mechanisms
- Children with medical needs
- Pregnant girls and/or teen mothers
*Referral to websites not produced by Rescue 100 is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of the sites’ content.