Sept. 20 Issue
Russell County NewsBy Kim GrahamRussell County News Reporter
Abused and neglected children of Kentucky, even some of the most troubled kids, can get another chance at a safe, stable family.
NECCO of Somerset, a private child placing agency, has served the Lake Cumberland region since June 2007 covering 13 counties including Russell. The agency recruits families to provide loving homes to children through short term foster care and long term adoptive placements.
Of the 32 foster families the agency serves in the region, 15 are located in Russell County.
“Social workers like to send kids to rural areas like Russell County to get the small town values they have to offer,” said Misty Wade, NECCO of Somerset Program Director. “Russell County should be proud of that. This community is very accepting of foster kids.”
Once parents are recruited, the agency staff sets up classes and pre-service training hours needed to qualify as a foster family.
All training is free and classes are held in local churches or homes to make it more convenient for potential foster families who live outside of Somerset.
When training is complete, families must be approved by social services before foster placement.
“We try to match the needs of the child to the strengths of the family,” said Wade.
A native of Russell County, Wade is dedicated to serving her home community alongside case managers Deana Kimbler, Deb Frenja and Jenny Pike all of Russell County and six other staff members in the Somerset office.
“We can make a big difference by showing these kids a normal life so they can be better parents, grandparents and citizens,” said Wade.
The case managers make weekly contact by visiting with the kids and families to check in and make sure all is well.
Whether the kids’ goal is to return to their biological parents, adoption or emancipation, NECCO provides family therapy for troubled kids to help them meet their permanency goal.
“Our biggest thing is re-educating kids on what’s normal and what’s not abusive and violent,” said Wade.
NECCO provides abused children a home safe from harm with an emphasis on a caring family life and a supportive community.
“The kids are #1. They’re all in my heart,” Wade said. “I love them, every one.”
For more information on becoming a foster family with NECCO, call (606) 772-1031.