Years ago, before foster care, homeless children grew up in orphanages.

That was not the most nurturing environment.

On Wednesday, Belmont County officials celebrated foster families.

They noted that you can be a foster parent if you’re 21 or over, either single or married, if you complete the training and pass the background checks.

And they always need more foster parents.

“We have a lot of foster parents who only want younger children,” said Christine Parker, administrator of Belmont County Department of Job and Family Services. “That’s fine because we do have some younger children in foster care. But we certainly are in need of foster parents who can take adolescents or family groups.”

It requires 36 hours of training.

They do safety checks and fire inspections of your home.

They also look at your finances.

And you have to pass a background check.

The main reason a person would not be accepted as a foster parent would be a criminal record.