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Highland And Bath Seek Foster Homes

The month of May is designated for awareness of two issues critical for the care and well-being of residents, both old and young alike, and in this two part story, Highland County Department of Social Services personnel explain more.

“My name is Emily Malcolm, and I work at the Highland County Department of Social Services, and I am the Child Protective Services worker and the Adult Protective Services worker.”

She continued, “May is Foster Care Awareness Month, and this month we advocate for the 5,400 Virginia children in foster care. Of those, 3,452 are placed in a non-relative foster home, and 49.55% of those children were removed due to neglect. Prior to the removal of any child, preventative services to eliminate the need for foster care shall be provided. These services can range from individual counseling parent education, drug treatment, and diversionary placement with a relative or close family support. If preventive services cannot eliminate the immediate safety concern, and there are no less drastic alternatives than a child may enter foster care. Most commonly, a child enters foster care through a court commitment based on an abuse or neglect petition.”

She explained, “This year, Highland and Bath Counties’ Departments of Social Services will be partnering to focus our efforts on resource home recruitment. This has been an identified need as we believe it is important for children to remain safely in their own communities if removal from their own home occurs. By working together to recruit resource homes. We will provide these children with the opportunity to remain connected to their natural support systems. Children will not have to leave their school setting which will minimize the disruption in their extracurricular activities.”

Ms. Malcolm noted there were currently no foster homes in Highland or Bath Counties.

She conclude, “If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, please contact the Highland County Department of Social Services at 540-468-2199. You can also obtain information online at www.fosterva.org.

Story By

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Scott Smith

Scott is the News Director for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan, and also is a member of the boards of the Highland-Bath Farm Bureau , Highland Chamber of Commerce and Highland Sheep and Wool Association. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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