GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Guilford County Department of Social Services foster home recruiters are pleading for families to take in children.

The second of two information sessions explains how you can help give children a loving, caring and safe home.

“We have over 500 kids in care in Guilford County right now,” said Christopher Hines, a foster home recruiter with the GCDSS.

Some children are forced to live in office buildings and in hospitals.

“I can’t say it vehemently enough how badly we need folks to step up and be foster parents,” Hines said.

The GCDSS houses kids found in unhealthy and unsafe living conditions. They help newborns to 21-year-olds.

Their goal is family reunification, and that takes time.

During the “transition time,” which can take at least a year, department of social services workers have a goal to keep them in their home community.

Sometimes, legal matters delay the child’s return home. Other times, it’s too dangerous to send them home.

‘We find it most difficult to place our older kids…I understand that people are a little hesitant about the behaviors. They are just regular kids who have been caught up in situations that they cannot help,” Hines said.

That’s where you come in.

Here are the types of families needed:

  • families with an interest in fostering or adopting children with special needs
  • families willing to provide foster care for sibling groups of children with varying ages
  • families willing to be foster parents to children ages 10 and older in the custody of the GCDSS

There are applications to fill out, a background check and a state-mandated online or in-person orientation course you must take before being a foster parent.

Also, there is a monthly board reimbursement families receive based on the age of the child they foster.