Families sought to join foster care effort

The Maui News

Families are being recruited for the Maui Youth & Family Services Therapeutic Foster Program, which provides a family-based setting for 10- to 17-year-olds with behavioral and emotional issues in the home or community.

The program offers a temporary alternative home for youths for up to six months. MYFS is a licensed child-placing organization that recruits and licenses foster parents with approval from the state Department of Human Services.

Foster families receive a monetary stipend as well as training and support from MYFS staff on how to help young people cope with the stresses of daily life, make healthy decisions and strengthen family relationships.

Foster families and youths participate in outings throughout the year, such as whale watching and the annual holiday party. These experiences allow foster parents and youths to bond and to get to know on another better, which helps with the youths’ development. The activities also give foster youths an opportunity to participate in “normal life activities” that other young people do with their families.

“Every day we see the difference foster families make in this community and in the lives of young people in need,” said Julie Shoup, MYFS foster program therapist. “Offering a stable and caring home environment for our youth is an extremely rewarding and life-changing experience.”

For more information about becoming foster parents, go to www.myfs.org or contact program staff by calling 579-8414, ext. 8202 or emailing wendy.decambra@myfs.org.