Picture a child having to quickly throw their belongings in garbage bags and leave home with little or no notice. Then move into a place filled with strangers.

For a kid, entering the foster care system can be a very scary experience. While a group setting in a facility can provide some safety, it's not a place known for helping young people build the kind of life a child needs to thrive. Finding a single-family home could make all the difference for a young person. Have you ever considered becoming a foster parent?

Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI), is one of the largest providers of foster care in the state and foster parents are the most vital part of what they provide. In the Rockford area, the number of available single-family foster home situations is critically low. Here's what you should know about becoming a foster parent:

To qualify to be a foster parent, you:

(from LSSI.org)

  • Must have a desire and commitment to care for and work with children.
  • May be single or married.
  • May rent or own your residence.
  • Must be stable, understanding, caring and in good health.
  • Must be able to work as part of a team.
  • Must have sufficient financial resources to provide for yourself and your family.
  • Must be able to support children’s ties to their birth families and support reunification efforts, when applicable.
  • Do NOT have to be Lutheran.

If you are ready to take the next step to becoming a foster parent call 888.322.LSSI (5774) or email FosterAChild@LSSI.org to talk to a resource worker. You will be referred to the LSSI office closest to your home. Also, many LSSI offices hold orientation meetings for prospective parents to learn more about fostering or adoption. Ask the resource worker about attending one.


Steve Shannon is host of The Steve Shannon Show on 97ZOK. On the air weekday mornings from 6 to 10 a.m. and a special 'Rewind' show, featuring favorite moments from previous shows, on Saturday mornings from 5 to 7 a.m.. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and like his page on Facebook.

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