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Appalachian Community Services and the Haywood County Public Library will present “Ellen Foster and Friends: A Look at Foster Care,” at 3 p.m., Saturday, March 3 in the auditorium of the Haywood County Public Library, Waynesville Branch.

The event will begin with local actor Barbara Bates Smith performing excerpts from “Ellen Foster,” her stage version of the prize-winning novel by Kaye Gibbons, which details the journey of Ellen, a spunky girl working to overcome abuse.

Following Ms. Bates Smith’s performance, there will be a panel discussion on foster care featuring Ira Dove, Haywood County Department of Social Services director; Dr. Steve Wall, with Haywood Pediatrics; Tara Keilberg, Director of the Kids Advocacy Resource Effort (KARE); Scott MacGregor, a Certified Family Life Educator; and Pablo and Maria Averza, therapeutic foster parents.

“A Look at Foster Care” is open to the public. The Friends of the Library will provide refreshments.

Appalachian Community Services trains and supports foster parents in the area. An accredited mental health agency, Appalachian Community Services serves the seven western counties with foster parents, case managers, nurses, psychiatrists, counselors, peer support specialists, and support staff. Appalachian has two offices in Haywood County, including the Balsam Center and the Russ Ave. office.

For more information on "Ellen Foster and Friends: A Look at Foster Care," please contact Ryann Roth, with Appalachian Community Services at 454-1098, ext. 2908. For more information on foster care, please contact Roth, visit the Appalachian Community Services website at www.acswnc.com, or contact Haywood Bound, a collaborative effort between the Haywood County Department of Social Services and other regional foster care agencies. To learn more about Haywood Bound, please contact Jason Bibb, DSS Links Program Coordinator, at 828.356.2435 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

For more information, contact:
David Teague, Public Information Officer
Haywood County

828-452-7305; 828-400-9691 or
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