Persons interested in exploring foster parenthood are encouraged to register for an upcoming 10-week course provided free of charge by Saint Francis Community Services, starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at 3000 Broadway Ave. in Hays.

Designed to help people make an informed decision about becoming a resource family for children in foster care or adoption programs, the course also provides training required by the state of Kansas for potential foster parents. Participants acquire information and skills that help them gain a better understanding of the needs of children in foster care, while learning about resources for foster parents, parenting techniques and available support services.

More than 30 Ellis County children must stay in homes outside the county because there are not enough local foster families to accommodate them. These children need approximately 20 new families to house them closer to home.

People interested in registering for the course or in learning about becoming a foster parent are encouraged to go online to www.fostercare-ks.org or to call toll-free (866) 999-1599.

Saint Francis Community Services is a donor-supported, faith-based, community-based service provider that has been a voice for children and families since 1945. Its mission is to provide healing and hope to children and families.

For more information about Saint Francis, visit www.st-francis.org or call (800) 423-1342.