The faces of foster care range from infants to adults and their stories range from heart-wrenching to wonderful redemption. Foster care can be a difficult journey. Many make the choice each and every day to press in and fight for those who cannot do it on their own. For some there is no choice.
Children do not find themselves in foster care because of their own choices. Most experience abuse, neglect, and trauma that leaves lasting effects. They are desperate for individuals to give them stability, hope, and a future. In the state of Kentucky approximately 9500 children are in state custody. Some of those live in foster homes, some group facilities, and a few in kinship placement.
These children need someone to come alongside of them and carry them through the toughest days of their life. They need someone to fight the battle for them. The invaluable faces who do this are foster families. With just over 2100 foster homes, there is a great need for additional families to open their hearts and homes to children in foster care. Too many children must spend the night on the floor of a case workers office because there is no home to take them in. There are times case workers drive around with the children in the car for hours until they find a family willing to take them in. It is not because the foster families don’t want to care for the children, but because the families are stretched to capacity. The greatest need is families willing to take sibling groups, infants, or teenagers.
Working tirelessly to support and advocate for the children are the case workers, investigators, judges, lawyers, and agencies who carry the burden of making decisions regarding what’s best for the child. The responsibility of these individuals is not a light load to bear. From the initial report to the investigation to forming a plan for the child, the stress is heavy. For the most part reunification of the birth family is possible, but when it is not these individuals must do their part to find a family willing to care for the child permanently.
The Faces of Foster Care series will cover various roles within the foster care process. Follow along the journey as the VUE features:
- Foster parents Matt and Amberly Houser of Growing Up Houser.
- a former foster child’s perspective.
- a foster to adopt family.
- a family who experienced reunification.
- the view of case workers and other agencies who play their part to advocate for the child.
- how to get involved and support current foster families along with alternate options, such as New Pathways.
The faces of foster care are many, but the need for additional support is even larger. Join us as we discover the many roles within foster care and how the community can help. The children, our future, depend on it. If not us, then who?
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