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updated: 6/24/2013 8:12 PM

Harper College to Host Free Foster Care Info Sessions

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Erin Brooks, Harper College

Harper College this summer is hosting six free seminars aimed at prospective foster parents.

The sessions, led by Marc Bermann of Jewish Child and Family Services, will address the rewards and challenges of becoming foster parents of special needs children specifically -- from the legal aspect of the placement to licensing requirements for those who wish to become foster parents -- and cover the need for volunteers in Illinois.

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Bermann, who has more than 20 years of experience working with special needs youth and young adults in foster care and residential services, also will offer six more general sessions on setting limits, goals and rewards as a parent and managing children's challenging behavior. Those free seminars will cover different parenting styles and the importance of structure and holding your child accountable. They'll run alongside Harper's popular InZone summer camp for kids 8 to 14.

"There is a real and growing need in Illinois for foster parents who are able to welcome children -- and especially special needs children -- into their home, and I see this as another opportunity to connect with people who could make great parents," Bermann says. "If even one connection is made, it will be more than worth the effort."

The one-hour sessions will be held on Tuesday, July 16, Wednesday, July 24 and Thursday, August 1 in Room A241a of Building A on Harper's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine.

The foster care sessions will run at 9:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.; the sessions on setting limits as parents will run at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

All are open to the public.

"This is a natural fit with the work we're doing with InZone," says Kari Hill, Harper's Marketing Manager for Continuing Education. "Our challenge is to present meaningful information to community members and the parents of our campers that addresses real issues. This is an opportunity to potentially create homes for children in our state, and give parents additional expert pointers."

To RSVP, call 847.925.6300 or visit www.harpercollege.edu/youth.

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