By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
WOODWORTH, La. (LBM) – Prospective foster parents through the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home will soon enjoy access to a fast track for earning needed training.
“With more than 4,000 children in Louisiana’s foster care system and only 2,200 foster homes, Louisiana Baptists have a great opportunity to make an impact on the next generation through foster care,” Children’s Home President and CEO Perry Hancock told the Baptist Message after the Executive Board meeting May 7 at Tall Timbers Baptist Conference Center.
A barrier interested foster parents have faced is the amount of time needed to earn certification. Training requires 4 to 8 weeks to complete.
That amount of time will now be reduced to just two weekends, beginning this fall. Louisiana Baptist churches will host a full day of training on a Saturday and a half day Sunday afternoon. Dates and locations will be announced soon.
Through its Connect 1:27 Foster Care and Adoption ministries, the Children’s Home also provides home studies for foster and adoption certifications, seminars for churches to develop foster care and adoption ministries, and ongoing training to enhance care skills.
For more information, contact Margie Nielsen at 318.343.2244.
For his part, Louisiana College President Rick Brewer appealed to the Executive Board members to issue a bond that would upgrade Tudor Hall, English Village, and Cottingham Hall over a 17-month implementation period. Renovations would include hallways, rooms and common areas.
The bond would not exceed $5 million and is payable over a 20-year period at a variable interest rate of approximately 4 percent, according to a resolution approved by the Executive Board.
“Our Board of Trustees is convinced these renovations are imperative if we expect to continue to grow because curb appeal ranks very highly among the considerations of prospective students and their parents,” Brewer said.
Brewer thanked Louisiana Baptists for their continued support of the college. He noted a four-year trend of increasing enrollment continues at Louisiana College. Spring headcount was 1,123, which is up 9.2 percent over last spring and is 25 percent above spring 2016 enrollment, according to school records. The fall-to-spring retention was 94 percent, 9 percent higher than the same time a year ago.
“The strategies we have implemented that include increasing our donor base, adding academic programs, effective marketing of strategic scholarships to enhance academic quality, and other upgrades to our facilities and infrastructure all have contributed to our continued growth,” Brewer said.
LOUISIANA BAPTIST FOUNDATION
In his report, Louisiana Baptist Foundation Executive Direct Wayne Taylor reminded Executive Board members his entity is celebrating its 75th year of ministry to Louisiana Baptists.
“The LBF exists to help Louisiana Baptist be good stewards by helping them give wisely to their church or other LBC Entities through gifts of assets and or Charitable Estate Planning,” Taylor said. “The LBF also helps churches and entities be good steward of gifts they receive through using the LBF short term fund which is currently paying 1.95% APR while longer term money in our group investment fund has averaged 6.36% for the past 10 years.”
BAPTIST MESSAGE/OFFICE OF PUBLIC POLICY
Baptist Message Editor Will Hall, who also serves as director for the Office of Public Policy, combined his reports for both, to emphasize the depth of work performed in the legislature this year and the importance of subscribing to the Baptist Message in order to be informed about key developments in the law.
Hall also congratulated Managing Editor Philip Timothy on his recent induction into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. Timothy received the 2019 Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, and will be inducted in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame June 8.