Seeing a high number of infants entering the County foster care system, County leaders today asked residents to consider opening their hearts and their homes for our youngest foster children.
“In life there is no greater gift than opening your home to a child and making them a part of your family,” Commissioner William McCurdy II said. “I strongly encourage anyone who has ever thought of becoming a foster parent to reach out to our Department of Family Services. These families and these children need us to give them a safe and loving home.”
So far this year, 467 children under the age of 1 have come into the County’s foster care system, which is well above the pace from recent years. During all of 2020 there were 781 infants under 1 in the County’s care at some point, and in 2021 there were 793 children under 1 in the foster care system.
Becoming a foster parent requires special training, background checks and home inspections, which altogether can take several months to complete. By recruiting residents to begin the process of becoming foster parents now, there will be more infant-ready foster homes available later this year if the trend continues.
“We strive to help families overcome their challenges and remain together, but sometimes a home is too dangerous for a child,” Deputy County Manager Kevin Schiller said. “Foster parents step in during these times of crisis and give the children a loving and supportive homelife and the strong foundation they need to be successful.”
The commissioners on Tuesday proclaimed May as National Foster Care Awareness Month and used the opportunity to highlight the need for more foster parents, especially those who can care for infants.
The County Department of Family Services actively recruits foster parents for children ranging in age from newborn to 17. Anyone interested in becoming a foster parent is encouraged to visit ClarkCountyFosterCare.com, email Countmein@ClarkCountyNV.gov, or call (702) 455-0181.
In addition to needing more foster parents for infants, the County also needs more who can care for large sibling groups (families with three, four or more children), and those who may be able to care for children with special medical needs.
There are more than 3,400 children in the County’s foster care system on any given day. The ultimate goal of the department is to reunite children with their birth parents, however, sometimes that can take a significant amount of time.
Foster parents are required to go through training and become licensed before they can be compensated for caring for a foster child. Compensation is typically around $700 per month per child. The County also provides various support services for foster families and covers medical and other costs for foster children.
Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 11th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to 2.3 million citizens and 45.6 million visitors a year (2019). Included are the nation’s 7th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to 1 million residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.