May is National Foster Care Month, a time to raise awareness about the nearly 8,000 Tennessee children in foster care. The McNabb Center provides foster care services for children in East Tennessee and is seeking foster parents to help meet this need in our community.

“The foster care system has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Janet Jenkins, the Center’s senior director of DCS programming. “We have fewer adults completing foster care training and a great need for foster parents to help care for children in the state’s custody.”

During the pandemic, foster parent classes were conducted virtually, but the McNabb Center has begun to offer in-person, socially-distanced classes with limited capacity to ensure safety for attendees.

The McNabb Center’s therapeutic foster care program serves children and teens who are in the state’s custody due to abuse or neglect, and who have behavioral or emotional problems. These children need a more specialized type of care than what they can find in standard foster homes. The purpose of therapeutic foster care is to help each child so that he or she may go on to live successfully within the community.

Foster parents are needed to provide long and short-term care as well as emergency and respite care for children of all ages. The McNabb Center’s foster care services reach: Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox,  Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott, Sevier and Union counties.

Individuals interested in learning more about the foster care process can call (865) 544-5000, visit mcnabbcenter.org/fostercare or connect on Facebook at facebook.com/McNabbFosterCare.

The McNabb Center is the region’s leading nonprofit provider of mental health, substance use, social and victim services. By focusing on an individual’s “Well Mind, Well Being,” we provide a quality and compassionate approach to care from infancy through adulthood. Since 1948, the Center has proudly served individuals with the most needs and fewest resources. Today, the McNabb Center delivers support to more than 30,000 people throughout East Tennessee each year. For more information, visit www.mcnabbcenter.org or call 1-800-255-9711.