(Editor’s note: Only the first names of Emergency Care Placement parents are used for security reasons.)
May is National Foster Care Month, a time when communities across America honor foster families and recognize children in foster care.
In the KMC, it’s a time to recognize the 13 Emergency Placement Care families and the 11 more families who will be certified this month. Since January 2003, families in the KMC have opened their homes to 22 children in need.
The 415th Base Support Battalion’s Army Community Service’s Placement Care program recruits, trains and certifies parents to provide a safe and nurturing home life to KMC children experiencing crisis or have experienced maltreatment in their homes. They also help ensure that children can be safely reunited with their families.
“It is important to observe National Foster Care Month to thank the parents in the KMC for sharing their families and homes, and giving love, encouragement and hope to children and families in need,” said Kehinde Pamphille, EPC program manager and victim advocate, 415th BSB ACS.
Children can also be placed in homes for drug, alcohol, medical and psychiatric treatment for parents.
Kenneth and Rita have been emergency placement care parents for almost a year and have opened their home to three children.
“We wanted to do something as a family to help out the community,” said Kenneth. “We didn’t realize how much of a need for this service there is in this community until after we started.”
Parents can be married or single, active duty, retired, civilian Department of Defense employees and family members, with a Date Eligible for Return from Overseas of at least a year.
“The experience has been rewarding, with mixed feelings,” said Kenneth.
“We’re so happy to help a child in need, but one can’t help getting attached to the children and having discernment for their future development and care,” he said.
In honor of National Foster Care Month, the ACS EPC program hosts a recognition breakfast 8 to 9:30 a.m. May 26 at the Armstrong Community Club.
Those interested in becoming an emergency placement care parent can contact the program manager at 489-6711 or 0631-536-6711.