Canopy Children’s Solutions (Canopy) is in urgent need of foster care parents in the South Central Mississippi region and the greater Hattiesburg area. In total, more than 6,000 children are living in Mississippi’s child welfare system—approximately 500 in the greater Hattiesburg area—and many are in need of a loving home. Canopy is actively seeking individuals and families with a willingness to open their homes to children and youth in need. There is no prior experience necessary, just a desire to take part in life-altering transformation.

Foster momCanopy believes that all children deserve to grow up in nurturing, stable families. When children are removed from their homes and placed into foster care, it is often due to circumstances involving abuse, neglect and/or exploitation.  Following such traumatic events, children are in need of individuals or families to provide loving reassurance in the comfort of a temporary safe haven.  Ideally, out-of-home placement is only short-term with the ultimate goal of returning that child to a safe environment with someone in his or her family.

“When children come into the state’s custody and there aren’t suitable foster homes available to take them in, they often end up in group homes, shelters or long-term residential treatment facilities,” said Elliott Brown, Therapeutic Foster Care Program Supervisor for Canopy Children’s Solutions. “Canopy’s children’s shelter provides refuge to approximately 100 children a year. In some instances, the TFC program is a critical next step for children to gain the care they desperately need to heal from the trauma of abuse and neglect, then from being removed from their families, communities and everything they know. The love and stability provided in a home and family setting often yields much better outcomes for children.”

Teenage KidsWhile a family is active in the Canopy Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) program, which specializes in the care of children with emotional, developmental or medical needs, children and families attend group support classes and therapy. These sessions help ensure a stable atmosphere within the homes and gives the children a safe place to work through past trauma. TFC resource parents are offered continuous access to Canopy professional staff in addition to initial and on-going training, a well-defined plan of care, support groups, and per diem resources. In the event a child cannot return to their home or family and becomes eligible for adoption, foster parents often have the opportunity to adopt the child.

For individuals and families interested in learning more about foster care through Canopy and the many ways you can be a part of this transformational experience, a free information session will be held on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. at the Canopy office located at 105 Asbury Circle, Suite A, in Hattiesburg.

For more information about therapeutic foster care, please contact Elliott Brown at 601-606-0208 or elliott.brown@mycanopy.org.