FAMILY

Care Communities pilot program seeks to support foster families across the state

Dec 29, 2023, 7:00 PM

a family marches with a utah foster care sign, care communities is a new foster care program...

FILE - Doug and Tammi Sumsion and their two sons Bryson and Tayler join a group Friday, May 9, 2014, marching around the Salt Lake City-County Building to honor foster care families as part of National Foster Care Month. (Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Foster parents in Utah can take advantage of a new pilot program called Care Communities. The program aims to give people the chance to support foster families in the state.

The Care Communities program was first introduced into the state by Utah’s First Lady, Abby Cox.

Program Director Tami Carson said foster parents face many challenges, but they don’t need to face them alone.

According to Utah Foster Care, 40% of foster parents don’t continue fostering past the first year. Providing more support to foster parents is one way to curb the high dropout rate. 

“The children coming into foster care, the goal is for them to go home to their family, their biological or primary family. And foster parents have to do a lot of extra work to make sure that happens. So this program is an opportunity for religious communities, faith communities, nonprofits or businesses or other social groups to work with us and we give them training and then ongoing support and mentoring,” said Carson. 

How do Care Communities work?

Care Communities are groups that build a team to figure out the best way to serve foster parents. Carson said that most people don’t know just how difficult that parenting role is.

“The demands in your time are higher than traditional parenting … You’re going to relearn a lot about what parenting looks like. Those demands and time really revolve around what the best outcome [is] for these children in the home,” said Carson. 

Additionally, the care teams offer emotional help to foster parents. Carson shared that one infertile couple came to see how their sacrifices not only helped the children they were raising, but their biological parents as well.

“Their hearts completely transformed from a couple who was here because of infertility and now was really here for these kids. And they were willing to do the work over that last year and a half. We will work as hard as possible to help the parents of these children overcome these challenges. All that time providing a loving and stable home for the children that they’re caring for,” Carson said. 

To participate in the program, Utahns can visit the Utah Foster Care website. If you don’t want to be a member of a care team, Carson said you can volunteer to help in other ways.

“Those of us who can’t do that right now, we can’t be foster parents right now or maybe ever, but we can be friends with and learn how to be a very intentional friend for foster families and support the parents and that hard work they’re doing,” said Carson.

The state estimates there are more than 2,600 children currently in foster care in Utah.

Related:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Family

a child plays with a bubble, utah medicaid changing for kids...

Britt Johnson

Thousands of Utah children losing their Medicaid benefits

Medicaid is checking eligibility again and many people in Utah are making too much money to qualify.

10 days ago

children at a daycare, child care desert issues affecting utah...

Peter Johnston

You could be living in a child care desert. Here’s what that means

Data from 2019 shows that 77% of Utah's population live in a child care desert. Two bills seek to change that.

11 days ago

Child care provider Holly Kingston gives children a snack at her home in West Jordan on Friday, Jan...

Adam Small

Utah lawmaker pushing legislation to address child care shortage

If it becomes law, HB153 would allow unlicensed child care providers to watch eight kids. Right they can watch six.

11 days ago

The Provo Food Bank has less than a month's supply left and is asking for the public's help through...

Tammy Kikuchi and Waverly Golden

Provo Food Bank supplies running low, public donations needed

The Provo Food Bank has less than a month's supply left and is asking for the public's help through donations. 

12 days ago

kids play at a child care center in utah...

Allessandra Harris

Bill to expand child care options in Utah moves forward to Senate

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Luz Escamilla said most Utah residents live in a child care desert, with no options within 5 miles of them.

13 days ago

utah capitol pictured, a new law centers adoption legal expenses open records utah...

Aimee Cobabe

Adoption revision bill would make it easier to adopt in Utah

Utah lawmakers proposing changes to adoption laws that could significantly reduce legal expenses for families looking to adopt.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Care Communities pilot program seeks to support foster families across the state