Youth Villages has named Michelle Ceylan its new foster parent recruiter for the Fayetteville area.
In her new role, Ceylan will be informing the community about Youth Villages’ foster care program and providing free training classes for people in the Fayetteville area who are interested in becoming foster parents.
Ceylan is a resident of Franklin. A native of Nashville, she returned to Middle Tennessee in 2010 after living in five states and outside the United States. She holds a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Tennessee. Before joining Youth Villages, she worked for a nonprofit Christian radio station.
Ceylan is familiar with the needs of children who have experienced trauma and need loving families. Her parents are foster parents, and her sister is the founder and director of G.I.R.L.S. Ranch, a nonprofit organization that serves adolescent girls in Rutherford County.
“They have been an example to me and many others that, with enough patience, love and sacrifice, you can become a life-changing influence in a child’s life,” she said. “They have chosen to live their lives as people who are part of the solution rather than bystanders.”
Ceylan and her husband, Turk, are also on a wait list for a domestic adoption. They are looking forward to welcoming a child into their own home.
Ceylan is looking for similar adults in the Fayetteville area to open their hearts and homes to children who have suffered abuse, neglect, abandonment or other issues.
“It is easy to forget that right here, in our own community, there is a huge need for adults to reach out and be a part of our children’s lives. We watch the news and see all the challenges in other places, but we forget that in our own backyards, we have children who need a loving, stable home. Right here, in Fayetteville, we have children who are waiting to see what true friendship, consistency and loyalty looks like in a loving, stable home,” she said.
Ceylan says potential foster parents should be willing to learn and able to adapt easily to meet a child’s needs.
“Foster parents need to understand that fostering children is not easy and that the rewards for this are not immediate, but when they do, they are incredible,” she said.
Ceylan will be offering free foster parent training classes for adults in the Fayetteville area who are interested in becoming foster parents. Her first set of training classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m., beginning Thursday, Jan. 23, at the Youth Villages office, located at 115 Dyer St., Suite 1, Columbia.
Foster parents should be over the age of 25 and living in the Lincoln County area. Foster parents should have viable income, reliable transportation and be able to pass a background check and home study.
Youth Villages provides foster parents with 24-hour access to counselors, support groups and a monthly stipend to offset the cost of adding a child to the home. Foster parents also often have the first right to adopt if the child becomes available for adoption.
For more information about the upcoming training classes or how you can change the life of a child, contact Michelle Ceylan at 931-560-4250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.