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Forsyth County Community Connection holding foster parent training

Being a foster parent is hard work. This weekend, a church and a non-profit are teaming up to help train those who have chosen to be foster parents in Forsyth County.

On Saturday, Forsyth County Community Connection will host a foster parent training program at Cumming First Baptist, located at 1597 Sawnee Drive.

“We just got a schedule together to basically get all these foster parents some training hours, because they’re required to get anywhere from 15-20 hours per year to keep their license active,” said Scott Torres, caregiver program manager at Supporting Adoption of Foster Families Together (SAFFT) of Forsyth County. “We got all that together, got some speakers lined up and just basically shot it out there through contacts.

The event will give foster parents seven hours of required training, including CPR, and will have speakers from several government and community organizations there to interact with children and teens.

“I think there are 13 different speakers, with 10 or 11 different topics,” Torres said.

Speakers will range from therapists, members of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, experts in abuse and others, and attendees will be able to ask questions after the event.

Torres said he hopes such events will be held twice each year and that nearly 200 people from Forsyth County and the surrounding area are planning to attend Saturday’s event.

“We’ve gotten over 180 people that will be showing up,” he said, “and we’re doing childcare also, which was, I think, the biggest blocker that keeps people from showing up to things like this, but we’re expecting over 190 children, also.”

Meals will be provided, and kids will be able to play games, including a bounce house, and do arts and crafts.

Online registration for the event is closed.

Torres said there is a “huge” need locally for training foster parents.

“We’re having the boys lodge come by and speak on some of the teen issues, that’s one of the hardest things,” he said. “I think this training is vital, not only for their requirements but for their knowledge.”