Maui News

Maui Youth & Family Services seeking foster parents

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Maui Behavioral Health Resources is looking to bring on foster parents for their Therapeutic Foster Care program at Maui Youth & Family Services.

The program provides a family home atmosphere for youth ages 10-17 with mental health needs or may be experiencing difficulties socially, behaviorally or academically. The program helps youth who are not able to receive care in their own home but can achieve stability and growth in a caring atmosphere where they can receive parental supervision, guidance and support.

“Our foster program is unique in that we provide specialized training and support to help parents. We’re seeing an increase in need here on Maui, and our priority is to keep Maui youth here on island. We need more foster families to be able to do that,” said Chelene Arnold, Program Director.

The program provides youth with the extra support they need.

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As one former client shared, “I didn’t get the help I needed in any of the foster homes until I was in a Maui Youth & Family Services program home. I was 17 by then. Before that, the homes that I was put into weren’t the best, or safest places, and often the foster kids were treated differently. This program is beneficial for both the foster parents and the kids. In the programs at MYFS, they actually take the time to see how kids are feeling, where they are coming from, why they are being the way they are. I think that’s needed a lot more.”

With the training provided by MYFS staff, foster parents are able to address issues and make youth feel safe and welcome.

As one foster parent shared, “Many of our youth in need don’t know what it feels like to be accepted or to be a part of a real family. The right setting changes our youth in such positive ways. This has to matter to us because they are our future and we can help them to have hope for that future.” She went on to say, “Our family has grown as many of our youth have called and stayed in touch with us over the years and come for visits. We have even received invitations for graduations, weddings, birthdays, and baby births. The benefits of being a foster parent last a lifetime as we see our youth grow into a responsible, compassionate spouse with children of their own.”

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To get started, there is an application process, followed by a home evaluation and free training. The best foster parents are stable, dependable, healthy, fun adults who are open to learning.

Foster parents must be at least 25 years old, and they can be single or married, rent or own their home, and need not have their own children.

Foster parents receive training and follow up support, a daily monetary stipend when youth are placed in the home, and access to a 24-hour support line.

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To enroll in the program, potential foster parents must pass a criminal background check. For
more information, contact [email protected] or visit the website https://mbhr.org/foster-parent-recruitment/

Maui Behavioral Health Resources is an umbrella organization of three nonprofit agencies: Aloha House, Mālama Family Recovery Center, and Maui Youth & Family Services. All three agencies seek to provide mental health and substance use disorder treatment to Maui residents.

Together, the agencies provide services to almost 8,000 individuals in the Maui community each year. Learn more at www.MBHR.org

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