MERIDIAN, Miss. — It has been a busy year at the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services (MDCPS). We’ve seen the appointment of our new Commissioner, Dr. David Chandler, continued negotiations with the plaintiffs as part of the Olivia Y. settlement agreement, and made significant progress in the de-coupling of our agency from the Mississippi Department of Human Services.
The responsibility of caring for the children of our state rests not just on the newly established agency created to ensure their protection, but also on the very special citizens who have made the important decision to foster Mississippi’s orphans. MDCPS staff alone cannot raise the thousands of children who have found themselves without a loving family, and a safe home to grow up in; we need help. Finding that help starts by addressing the heart of our communities and appealing to those who have joined an organization whose motto is “Service Above Self,” the members of Mississippi’s Rotary Clubs.
Dr. Chandler has spent the last several months visiting Rotary Clubs across our great state to meet members face to face, introduce our agency, and share our mission. Today, Dr. Chandler will be speaking to the Meridian Rotary Club. According to their website “Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.”
MDCPS currently has 5,805 children in custody, and every single one deserves to build relationships with caring adults whose first priority is to act on behalf of their best interests. Many of these children have experienced abuse or neglect at the hands of their care givers, some have even been exposed to drug use. There is an immediate need for safe homes across Mississippi. The foster parent “supply” is low, however, demand is high. Considering the theory of “Supply and Demand,” and knowing that demand for the valuable resource of foster parents is high, we can conclude that the cost will, in turn, also be high.
However, MDCPS believes there is no price too high when it comes to the safety and protection of a child. Our agency has been restructured, rebuilt, and reborn. Under the leadership of our Commissioner, we will ensure the safety of every child in Mississippi while recruiting, training, and partnering with foster parents across the state, as well as other institutions committed to this same goal.
If you’re interested in joining MDCPS on our mission and would like to learn more about becoming a foster parent, contact MDCPS online at https://mdcps.ms.gov/become-a-resource-fosteradoptive-parent/ or call 1.800.821.9157.
On November 8th, 2016, Commissioner Chandler visited the Booneville Rotary Club in Prentiss County. Pictured above are Regina Taylor, Deidra Calamese, Kerry Shelley, Dr. David Chandler, and Veronica Smith.