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‘No regrets’: Foster parent shares experience as Clark County faces shortage

467 children currently under the age of one need placement.
Published: May. 5, 2022 at 4:45 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - This week, Clark County asked for adults to apply to become foster parents as the county sees a surge in foster children under the age of 1.

The county said it can take about three to four months to go from wanting to be a foster parent to actually being one.

One man who has been a foster parent for 14 years got emotional when explaining what it means for him to be able to care for foster children.

“They get to love you and you get to love them back,” said foster parent Henry Aquino.

Tears welled up in Aquino’s eyes when thinking about the proudest moment of becoming a foster parent.

“The fact that some of these kids call us mom and dad.”

Aquino and his wife Linda are foster parents to three girls and one boy.

“You usher these kids into succeeding, whether it be graduating high school, dropping them off for a kindergarten class or school, it is satisfying,” said Aquino.

Clark County said the need for foster care parents like Aquino is becoming a trend but they can’t really pinpoint why.

How to become a foster parent

The process to become a foster parent can take up to three to four months and starts by attending one of the county’s information sessions. Then, the county will get in touch to set up background checks and when or if cleared, going through a 9-week program of in-person classes.

“To have that comradery you gain by being in person and meeting new families that are going to be going through that same process,” said manager for the Department of Family Services Jennifer Erbes.

Erbes said foster parents must be 21 years old, financially solvent and ready to have your home inspected.

Aquino has one message for those on the fence about becoming a foster parent: “Just go for it and see if you qualify and if it is a good fit for you, it is not permanent.”

To this day, becoming a foster parent is a decision Aquino will never look back on.

“Very glad,” said Aquino. “No regrets.”

Clark County said once you become a foster parent, there are monthly home visits from case workers as well as support visits and annual inspections from licensing workers.

The county also said, healthcare is provided for he foster children through Medicaid.

For more details on the information sessions, and more on what the 9-wee of classes entails, click HERE.