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Miracle Hill Ministries recently celebrated the licensing of its 200th foster family.

Brenda Parks, director of Miracle Hill Foster Care in Greenville, said the Upstate’s need for foster families is great. As of July 2016, Greenville County had 240 registered foster homes and 368 children in foster care. The gap is even wider in Spartanburg County, where 471 children were in foster care, but with only 110 foster homes in the county.

Miracle Hill’s program is faith-based and conducted in collaboration with the South Carolina Department of Social Services.

“There is a critical need for families,” Parks said. “We at Miracle Hill want to help DSS in providing those families. By heightening the awareness, we hope people will hear the simple truth: children need a home. When they can’t be with their family, they need a foster home.”

Parks said other support is also needed, such as foster grandparents who will attend a child’s athletic or school events or provide other encouragement. Foster grandparents undergo an abbreviated screening process to ensure child safety, but they do not have the same requirements as a licensed foster home.

Check out an orientation session: Miracle Hill hosts an orientation and information session for potential foster families twice each month. To learn more, visit https://miraclehill.org/children/foster-care.

Other resources

Interested in fostering? These organizations offer additional resources to prospective families.

The South Carolina Youth Advocate Program needs resource foster parents and respite care foster parents. Participants receive training, support and a monthly stipend once licensed. For requirements and details, call 864-676-0210 or visit https://www.scyap.com.

Special Link is a nonprofit licensed adoption agency specializing in the placement of minority and/or special needs infants and children. The organization promotes open adoption. Visit http://www.speciallink.org/ or call 864-233-4872.

SAFY – Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth needs foster parents throughout the Upstate for its treatment foster care program that protects youth who are unable to stay with their primary family due to abuse, neglect and/or behavioral issues. For details, call 864-250-1601 or visit http://www.safy.org.

Video and photo galleries of the South Carolina Heart Gallery Foundation, created to help locate adoptive homes for children in foster care, are online at http://schgf.org/. Call 803-734-2595.

DSS — Learn more about South Carolina’s critical need for foster families and the steps required to become a foster parent at https://www.scfamilies.org.

Find more at www.upstateparent.com

Looking for things to do with kids in Greenville-Spartanburg? More stories relevant to families? Visit www.upstateparent.com.

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