‘We don’t have enough foster parents.’ Here’s how to become one in Mississippi.

Thousands of children are without homes in Mississippi, and one local organization is on a mission to change that.

Rescue 100 was founded in 2016 by Pastor Tony Karnes of Michael Memorial Baptist Church in Gulfport to train people to become licensed foster parents.

There are currently about 5,000 children in foster care, according to the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services.

“The problem is, we don’t have enough foster parents in all areas of our state to care for these precious children,” said Jess H. Dickinson, Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services.

In an effort to lower the number, CPS and Rescue 100 are partnering together to host free orientation sessions for those interested in becoming foster parents.

“If we do nothing else, we must do everything in our power to recruit, train, license and support these wonderful foster parents who do such extremely important life-changing work for our state” said Dickinson.

At the orientation sessions, people will learn what foster parenting is, what it takes to become a foster parent, and more. They’ll also learn how they can enroll into the Foster Care/Rescue 100 training.

“This is a great, no-commitment-required opportunity to explore the possibilities of foster care and decide if this is something you may be interested in pursuing”, said Sabrea Smith, Director of Faith-based and Volunteer Services for MDCPS.

Sessions will be held throughout April and May across the Coast:

  • April 1: First United Methodist Church, Poplarville, MS, 6 p.m.
  • April 1: Cedar Lake Christian Assembly, Biloxi, MS, 6 p.m.
  • April 8: Jacob’s Well Church, Pass Christian, MS, 6 p.m.
  • April 9: First Baptist Church, Long Beach, MS, 6 p.m.
  • May 18: First Baptist Church, Bay St. Louis, MS, Time TBA

For more information, go to www.mdcps.ms.gov/Rescue100/

Britneé Davis is McClatchy’s South Region Digital Producer. The south region includes the Sun Herald, the Telegraph, and the Ledger-Enquirer.