News 13 looks into the foster care vetting process

Grand Strand

HORRY CO., SC (WBTW)- A foster parent is out on bond after, police said, she abused a 6 year old child. Horry County Police said Deborah Jarrell forced the child to wear an electric dog collar, and hit the child with a spoon like object. Jarrell is 61 from Myrtle Beach, and charged with unlawful neglect of a child.

You can become a foster parent through the South Carolina Youth Advocate Program or DSS. 
Becoming a DSS foster parent can be a lengthy process that can take up to 4 months. Potential foster parents are first put through orientation to make sure this is something they can handle.

“Any child that comes into foster care, I don’t care how they come into foster care, they’ve been traumatized,” said Anna Skipper, the director of training for the South Carolina Foster Parent Association.

DSS then runs criminal background checks on potential foster parents. 
Social workers come out and do home studies, and fire marshalls inspect the home. Prospective foster parents must also submit health records to DSS.

“If you have a child in your home you’re going to have a licensing worker coming in, the child welfare worker, guardian ad litem coming, and all of the different players,” said Skipper.

The state requires 14 hours of pre service training.  Once someone becomes a foster parent, they have to earn 28 hours of training credit every two years to maintain their license.

“We talk about trauma and child development. We have case scenarios that we work through with the families and how would they deal with this if it was happening in their home,” said Skipper.

DSS said Horry County needs 150 more foster families.

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