New grant will help Forrest County decrease number of foster children

New grant will help Forrest County decrease number of foster children

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization met with child protection services, foster parents and educators in Hattiesburg Wednesday to try to decrease the number of children that are placed in foster care.

The Forrest County and Youth Court hosted a training session at the C.E. Roy Community Center conducted by the Zero to Three organization.

That group has given the county a new three-year grant, which will pay for a coordinator, who will act as a liaison between the community and the court.

“Every six minutes, an infant or toddler is removed and placed into foster care, so we’re trying to lower that number and prevent them from coming in in the first place,” said Sarah Rimington, training and technical assistance specialist with the Zero to Three organization.

The grant will also provide resources and technical support.

“It’s essentially a way for the community to partner with the court providing resources to these families to achieve reunification as soon as possible,” said Carol Jones Russell, County and youth court judge for Forrest County.

The grant is for $75,000 a year.

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