The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Montour County

May 9, 2013

KidsPeace offers foster kids online community

DANVILLE — Susquehanna Valley’s 25 to 30 foster children now have a new, online resource to connect with similar kids around the country.

In time for National Foster Care Awareness Month this May, KidsPeace has launched, which provides information, peer support, games and counseling services for foster children aged 11 to 18.

“Foster care children often feel alienated at home and at school, and need a place where people will understand them and their issues,” said Dr. Julius Licata, director of TeenCentral.Net. “What makes our new foster care portal so unique is children can share their questions and concerns and they will get an answer in 24 hours from a master’s or doctorate level counselor. There are no other teen sites offering timely responses from professional counselors who also are familiar with the myriad of foster care issues.”

The new site is free to sign up for and users are anonymous, identified only by a user name.

There are about 25 to 30 children in foster homes at any given time in the Susquehanna Valley region, according to George Adams, head of the Danville KidsPeace office. His office provides services for foster families in nearby counties including Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Columbia.

“In most cases, the goal is to reunite the child with the family of origin,” said Adams. This is accomplished by having case workers regularly visit children in foster homes to ensure they are being well treated and to have the biological parents meet whatever requirements, such as parenting classes, are needed to be reunited with their children.

A court must first approve a child and parent being brought back together before they can live together again.

“I would say, by far the majority of children placed in foster care do indeed go back to their biological families,” said Adams. Should it not be possible to reunite a child with their biological parents, KidsPeace will provide adoption services.

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