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Nevada DCFS hosting virtual trainings for prospective foster parents amid shortage

A green sign mounted on two silver poles reads, "Wabuska 11 Silver Springs 33 Reno 78."
Kat Fulwider
KUNR Public Radio
A mileage sign shows distances to other towns along State Route 339 in Yerington, Nev., on Nov. 13, 2023.

Amid an ongoing shortage of rural foster homes, Nevada officials are hosting virtual trainings for prospective parents.

Nevada’s Division of Child and Family Services is struggling with a shortage of licensed foster homes in rural communities as older foster parents leave the system and few step in to take their place.

That means kids get placed in foster homes far away from where they grew up. This can create further trauma for those kids, explained Shelby Riley, rural foster care recruiter for DCFS.

“We’re not only removing that child from their family, but now we’re removing them from their school. We’re removing them from their social circle, from their mentors, for their hobbies,” she said. “And we’re really leaving them with none of their support system. That continues to bring on another set of challenges for our youth.”

To prepare parents and expedite their licensing process, DCFS has been hosting more virtual trainings, including one that will run over four Saturdays Jan. 20 through Feb. 10. Ten families have already signed up.

Those trainings include information about kids’ needs, Nevada’s child welfare system, and presentations by those who have been a part of the system.

Jose Davila IV is a corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

Jose Davila IV is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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