Northeast Times

Holmesburg Civic hears about foster parenting

Laura Wag­n­er came to Holmes­burg Civic As­so­ci­ation’s Decem­ber meet­ing to try to re­cruit foster par­ents.

Wag­n­er is su­per­visor of par­ent re­cruit­ment and com­munity re­la­tions for First Home Care, which is based at the Friends Hos­pit­al cam­pus at 4641 Roosevelt Blvd.

The agency has been in ex­ist­ence since 1991. It serves chil­dren ages 5 to 17, though ex­cep­tions can be made if there are older or young­er sib­lings.

Thirty hours of free train­ing and round-the-clock sup­port are provided for foster par­ents.

To be eli­gible, an in­di­vidu­al must be age 21 or older; fin­an­cially stable; able to provide ad­equate liv­ing space; able to pass child ab­use and crim­in­al checks; and will­ing to work with chil­dren with emo­tion­al and be­ha­vi­or­al chal­lenges.

“It has to be a call­ing,” Wag­n­er said.

First Home Care con­tracts with the city De­part­ment of Hu­man Ser­vices. It is li­censed by the state De­part­ment of Pub­lic Wel­fare. It’s a mem­ber of the Phil­adelphia Coun­cil for Chil­dren, Youth and Fam­ily Ser­vices and the Pennsylvania State Foster Par­ent As­so­ci­ation.

“Our goal is to keep kids out of in­sti­tu­tion­al set­tings. Kids do bet­ter in com­munit­ies and lov­ing homes,” Wag­n­er said.

Par­ents re­ceive a small monthly sti­pend to raise the child.

“It’s not like a part-time job or ex­tra money. You have to be in it with your heart,” Wag­n­er said of the ef­fort.

Courts de­term­ine wheth­er bio­lo­gic­al par­ents have vis­it­a­tion rights.

For more in­form­a­tion, call 215-305-4854 or vis­it www.fh­c­pennsylvania.com

In oth­er news from the Dec. 11 civic meet­ing:

• Sgt. Ed­ward Am­mons, of the 15th Po­lice Dis­trict, in­tro­duced him­self to the group. He has been in the 15th for less than two weeks.

A wo­man asked Am­mons about a couple of re­cent in­cid­ents of people al­legedly im­per­son­at­ing of­ficers. The in­di­vidu­als drive in vehicles with flash­ing lights and use them to pull over mo­tor­ists.

“If you’re con­cerned, al­ways ask for a marked po­lice car,” he said.

While civic as­so­ci­ation mem­bers will miss Capt. Frank Bach­may­er, who was trans­ferred, Am­mons said they will like the new com­mand­er, Capt. John Mc­Clo­s­key, a long­time su­per­visor in the 35th Po­lice Dis­trict.

“He’s a dis­trict cap­tain. He’s aware of dis­trict prob­lems,” he said.

• Rudy Muller, the com­munity re­la­tions of­ficer in the 8th Po­lice Dis­trict, was asked why squad cars have steady red and blue lights on at night.

Muller said the prac­tice has been suc­cess­ful in oth­er cit­ies.

“It’s ba­sic­ally for a de­terrent,” he said.

A wo­man com­plained about a hook­er on Rhawn Street, which is the di­vid­ing line between the 8th and 15th po­lice dis­tricts.

“This wo­man was work­ing both sides,” she said.

Muller said of­ficers from his dis­trict would re­spond to such cases, even if the wo­man was on the 15th dis­trict side of the street, adding that his coun­ter­parts would handle the mat­ter in the same way if she was on the 8th dis­trict side.

• The dis­trict of­fices of state Rep. Kev­in Boyle (D-172nd dist.) are col­lect­ing canned goods and non-per­ish­able food items to dis­trib­ute to loc­al food banks at Christ­mas time.

The of­fices are loc­ated at 7518 Frank­ford Ave. (215-331-2600) and 7801 Has­brook Ave. (215-695-1016).

• The Ta­cony/Holmes­burg Town Watch is seek­ing mem­bers. For more in­form­a­tion, vis­it www.tactw.org or check out the Ta­cony Town Watch page on Face­book.

• Holmes­burg Civic As­so­ci­ation will meet on Tues­day, Jan. 8, at 7:15 p.m., at Holmes­burg Re­cre­ation Cen­ter, at Rhawn and Dit­man streets. ••

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­ing@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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