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The Important Role of Foster Families in North Carolina



Foster families play an essential role in the child welfare system, providing temporary homes to children who have been removed from their families due to neglect, abuse, or other crises. In North Carolina, the need for foster families is particularly acute, as the state grapples with a significant number of children in the foster care system. Organizations like Omni Family Services are crucial in this landscape, as they work to support foster families and ensure that children receive the care and stability they need.

“You can see that security [you give them], because that’s a scarce thing to them. When they find it [in you] it’s huge…you can see it’s impact and it’s profound ” Patty, an Omni Family Services foster mother

Foster care in North Carolina is designed to be a temporary arrangement, offering children a safe environment while their parents receive the support necessary to resolve issues that led to the separation. However, for many children, foster care can become a long-term situation. The state has seen a rising number of children entering the system, partly due to societal issues such as mental health problems, substance abuse, and economic instability. This increase places additional pressure on the system, highlighting the urgent need for more foster families.

“If there was one thing I would tell people who were considering fostering: Step out. Just try it.”  

Omni Family Services stands out in this challenging environment. As a provider of foster care and adoption services, Omni plays a vital role in recruiting, training, and supporting foster families in North Carolina. Their work is pivotal in ensuring that foster parents are well-prepared to meet the needs of the children they welcome into their homes. Training provided by Omni includes understanding the specific challenges that foster children might face, such as trauma, behavioral issues, and the effects of instability on child development.

“Every child deserves a safe and loving home,” says Adrienne Beatty, Trillium’s Director of Network Development, “We want to be sure the families in our communities feel supported in providing that home.” 

One of the key contributions of Omni Family Services is their emphasis on therapeutic foster care. This specialized form of foster care is designed for children with significant emotional, behavioral, or social issues that require more intensive care. Therapeutic foster parents receive specialized training to handle complex behaviors, provide a structured environment, and work closely with mental health professionals. Omni ensures that these foster parents are not only equipped with the skills needed but also supported through ongoing training and access to resources.

Support for foster families is another crucial aspect of Omni’s mission. Recognizing the challenges that come with fostering, Omni provides continual support to foster families, ranging from regular visits by case managers to access to 24-hour emergency assistance. This support helps to prevent burnout and ensures that foster families can provide the best care possible to the children in their charge.

The impact of foster families on the lives of children cannot be overstated. By providing a stable and nurturing environment, foster families play a crucial role in helping children heal and grow. The relationship fostered between children and their foster families can lead to significant positive outcomes, including improved academic performance, better emotional and social skills, and a stronger sense of security. For many children, their foster family provides the first consistent and supportive home environment they have experienced.

Moreover, foster families often go beyond providing basic care; they advocate for the children in their homes, ensuring they receive the necessary services and support. They also play a critical role in the transition process, whether it’s helping a child return to their biological family or moving on to a permanent adoptive home. In some cases, foster families become the permanent family for a child, offering them a forever home through adoption.

The need for more foster families in North Carolina remains a pressing issue. With the support of organizations like Omni Family Services, potential foster families can take the step towards opening their homes and hearts to children in need. It’s a challenging yet profoundly rewarding journey, offering a vital lifeline to some of the state’s most vulnerable residents.

In conclusion, the role of foster families in North Carolina is indispensable. With the ongoing support and dedication of organizations like Omni Family Services, foster families are empowered to provide the safe, loving homes that every child deserves. As the state continues to face challenges within the foster care system, the work of foster families and supporting organizations will remain crucial to the well-being and future of North Carolina’s children.

Omni Family of Services’ foster and adoption programs serve children throughout the state in counties Washington, Tyrell, Dare, Halifax, Hyde, Pamlico, Northampton, Hertford, Martin, and Nash.

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Conquer the Summer: Embark on an Off-Road Adventure to Remember




Once you’re bit the off-roading bug, it can feel impossible to think about anything else. There’s nothing like relying on your knowledge and gear when you’re off the beaten track. Understandably, you may want to hop in your 4×4 and start your next adventure immediately. But planning helps build excitement before you hit the road while minimizing risks.

Find Your Vehicle

Jeep Wranglers are always classic, but Toyota Land Cruises and Ford Broncos are also popular choices. Consider price, performance, and technology when thinking about purchasing a vehicle for trips. Some people swear by the newest models, while others trust their budget 4x4x when off-roading. The terrain will often inform your purchase.

You might also consider:

  • Comfort

  • Fuel efficiency

  • Repairs

  • Customization

Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few 4x4s, it’s time for a test drive.

Choose Your Destination

If you’re more interested in a photo shoot, uncovering a site’s archaeological value, prospecting, or exploring caves while off-roading, researching destinations and routes ahead of time will point you in the right direction. Topographical maps, or “topos,” are especially helpful for discovering geographical features that might be worth your time and planning routes between them. Google Earth’s satellite imagery is similarly useful, especially because it provides exact coordinates.

Don’t overlook tried-and-true information from those who have come before you. Local forums can connect you with those who have personally experienced the conditions you’ll be entering. Log books are a rustic way to learn from others who enjoy exploring as much as you do, and face-to-face conversations with Off-road trail guides are less personal but no less useful, and you might even find a hidden gem in a local history or nature book. Take warnings seriously and be realistic about your ability to deal with difficult terrain or longer trails.

Prepare for Your Adventure

Once you’ve set your agenda, it’s time to prepare your gear. When offroading, you need to plan for potential vehicular emergencies as well as personal ones. If something goes awry, you’ll regret not checking tires, suspension, brakes, and engine, so consider those a must. An extra vehicle might be a lifesaver in an emergency. Take your destination into consideration when packing recovery tools, such as winches. Include fully charged battery packs or replacements to ensure you can use your devices. Finally, your offroading gear should include food, water, and first aid supplies.

Navigation tools, both hard copy and digital, and, potentially, satellite phones can keep you healthy and safe, especially in remote areas. It’s also important to get to know your tools, whether an app or a map, before you’re in a high-stakes situation. Although the worst-case scenario often only requires you to turn around, personal injury and vehicular damage are always a real risk. You can always try a tougher route the next time.

As always, remember to respect your surroundings. Your goal should be to leave no trace so that the next people can enjoy their offroading adventures as much as you did. Pack out whatever you pack in.

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The Pride of the South: The Kentucky Derby




For the last 150 years, Louisville, Kentucky has taken the center stage for the Kentucky Derby. This horse race is the longest running American sporting event and is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year in the sports world. This race is the first event in the American Triple Crown series, and is usually the most watched among fans. Although the race itself usually finishes in about 2 minutes, celebrations can last a whole day. 

Kentucky Derby party planners are already beginning to ideate their celebrations for such a momentous anniversary. Obviously, the first step in the planning process involves sending out invitations to prospective guests. These invitations have to include important information such as the time and date, the dress code, the event’s address, and the RSVP information. 

Next involves planning the food and events that will dominate the day’s festivities. For food, hosts can contact catering services to supply the party with some of the South’s favorite cuisines, such as fried chicken, fried okra, and buttermilk hush puppies. Activities and games can range from Derby-themed Bingo to extravagant hat contests. Decorations should pay homage to Southern culture and include a touch of roses, as the nickname for the Kentucky Derby is “Run for the Roses”. There is much to plan for this exciting day, but it is sure to be an exciting event for everyone involved.

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How To Have The Summer Of Your Life: Safe Drinking Tips




As summer approaches, social gatherings, beach parties, and barbecues become the norm, marking the season of relaxation and fun. However, amidst the excitement, it’s crucial to remain vigilant about our drinking habits to ensure our summer memories are joyful and free from regret. To help you navigate the sunny days ahead responsibly, here are 10 tips for safe summer drinking fun, presented in collaboration with the Barone Defense Firm, your ally in promoting responsible and safe drinking practices.

1. Stay Hydrated

Alcohol has a diuretic effect, meaning it leads to increased urination and can quickly dehydrate you, especially in the hot summer sun. Alternating alcoholic beverages with water or sports drinks can help keep dehydration at bay.

2. Don’t Drink and Drive

Perhaps the most critical advice is never to drink and drive. Designate a sober driver, use public transportation, or take advantage of ride-sharing apps. The Barone Defense Firm stresses the importance of planning your ride home before you start drinking to avoid making impaired decisions later.

3. Understand Your Limits

Everyone has a different tolerance to alcohol. Knowing your limits and sticking to them can help prevent overindulgence. Pay attention to how your body feels and recognize when it’s time to stop.

4. Eat Well

Eating a good meal before you start drinking can slow the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream. Opt for foods rich in proteins and carbohydrates to help mitigate the effects of alcohol.

5. Pace Yourself

Try to limit yourself to one drink per hour. This pacing gives your body time to metabolize alcohol and can help prevent you from becoming too intoxicated too quickly.

6. Choose Your Drinks Wisely

Not all drinks are created equal. Be aware of the alcohol content in the beverages you choose and remember that mixed drinks can contain more alcohol than you might realize.

7. Avoid Mixing Alcohol and Water Activities

Swimming and boating while under the influence can be just as dangerous as drinking and driving. Save any alcoholic beverages for after you’re done enjoying water activities.

8. Use the Buddy System

Having a friend to keep tabs on each other can be a lifesaver. They can help you make safe decisions and ensure you get home safely.

9. Respect Non-Drinkers

Not everyone wants to drink, and that’s okay. Respect others’ choices and don’t pressure anyone into drinking. Offer non-alcoholic options at your gatherings.

10. Know When to Say No

There’s no harm in turning down an invitation or choosing to leave early if you feel uncomfortable with the drinking situation. Trust your instincts.

Know When To Call Barone Defense Firm

Following these tips can help ensure that your summer is filled with fun, safe, and memorable moments. Remember, responsible drinking is not just about protecting yourself; it’s about keeping everyone around you safe too. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need legal advice regarding alcohol-related issues, the Barone Defense Firm is there to support and guide you through the process, promoting safety and responsibility above all.

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