By LYNN BARNES
Special to Atmore News
Although Dianne Saloom is no longer on the Escambia County DHR Board because she and her husband moved to Conecuh County, she continues to have a heart for service to our foster community. During COVID lockdown, she and several friends began making quilts, but really didn’t have a purpose for them until she thought about how great it would be for every foster child to have one made specifically for him/her. Dianne and her group began quilting for foster children and provided quilts to the foster children in Conecuh County and have now reached out and provided one for all the foster children in Escambia County. Each quilt carries the first name of the child it was made for, which is especially important for children who sometimes enter foster care with very few belongings of their own.
The needs of child welfare are enormous and range from the need for staff (more people to commit to this as a profession), to the need for more in-county foster homes. Dianne and her group are testament to the fact that even if all the needs can’t be met, there is always a way to be of service to these children in our community.
Escambia County currently has 54 children in foster care, with only 13 of those children being housed in-county due to the shortage of in-county foster family homes. We encourage the community to consider opening their hearts and homes to these children, and if that’s not possible, please look for ways to support this program and those who serve.
Anyone wanting more information about the foster care program in Escambia County or ways in which you can support the work, please contact Tracie James-Mauldin at 251-809-2000.