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Reader's View: Foster homes in Duluth need more diversity

I am writing to express my concerns for the Duluth community with regard to child foster care. I have been interning in child foster care for just under a year now for St. Louis County. Continuously throughout my internship I have seen the consta...

I am writing to express my concerns for the Duluth community with regard to child foster care. I have been interning in child foster care for just under a year now for St. Louis County. Continuously throughout my internship I have seen the constant need for more foster homes and, more specifically, for more homes of diverse backgrounds. The county tries to be accommodating to diversity when making placements; However, we simply do not have the means to always ensure this. Despite our recruitment efforts, we are still lacking.

I participated in two open house information sessions to attempt to pull in individuals of diverse backgrounds who were interested in foster care. When I say diverse backgrounds, I am referring to populations of all different socioeconomic backgrounds, sexual orientations, religions, cultures, and ethnicities. Although we had quite good turnouts for the open houses, they still did not bring in much diversity.

Individuals have asked: What is St. Louis County going to do to make it possible for diverse populations to do foster care? I don't know if the answer is so much what St. Louis County is going to do, but what should we all do as the community of Duluth? People need more support and resources to do foster care, such as transportation, finances, and stable housing. The county, unfortunately, does not have the resources to provide all of these things to potential foster parents. We don't have enough people or money to make it happen.

Personally, I think it would be great to see what we can do with all aspects of our community to help make this possible.

Jenni Heckman

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Duluth

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