FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — Most days, Paul Elliot's job has him on the go.
“My job is to go into the community and make connections and network with different churches and organizations,” said Elliot. “Spread the word about our agency, what we do, and what we offer.”
Elliot is a Family Recruiter with Lutheran Services Carolinas, a faith-based organization that serves children and adults in a number of capacities, including fostering and adoption. His job is to find people who might be interested in becoming foster parents.
The need for foster parents is huge.
“I know we have calls in this office every day for kids needing placement and that`s just in Forsyth County,” Elliot said. “We just don`t have the capabilities to handle all the requests we get.”
Elliot's position was funded by a grant from the Winston-Salem Foundation.
Latoya Smiling says Lutheran Family Services impacts 3,000 individuals and families across north and South Carolina at a variety of levels.
“There are a number of kids who require foster care services because of abuse and neglect, but there are also a number of kids who require services because of behavioral and mental health needs as well,” Smiling said.
Perspective foster parents attend quarterly licensing classes to make sure it's a good fit for everyone. It can sometimes be challenging work, but Elliot said it is always fulfilling.
“If you can have a kid come in your house and work on their behaviors and see them leave on a successful track record, that`s got to be rewarding and make all those struggles and hard times worth i