Need for Foster Parents Is Staggering

May is recognized as national Foster Care Month. The need for individuals and couples to become foster parents is truly staggering.

Melissa Dombrowski-Boling

Miriam Webster defines the word “foster” as “affording, receiving, or sharing nurture or parental care though not related by blood or legal ties.” Foster care is intended to provide a temporary living arrangement for children who have been removed from, or voluntarily placed outside of, their biological family. This usually is because of abuse or neglect, or because the parents, for some other reason, cannot provide adequate care.

The ultimate goal is to find safe, permanent homes for children. This typically is done by reunification with their families of origin. Other possible permanent living arrangements are adoption or placement with a permanent legal guardian.

Statistics help magnify the need for individuals and couples to become foster parents. The numbers are eye-opening. Approximately 399,546 children in the United States live in a foster care setting. In Wisconsin on any given day, approximately 6,255 children live in out-of-home care. In 2012, in Wisconsin, 4,453 children entered foster care.

The decision to pursue licensure is life changing. If you are not able to become a licensed foster/adoptive parent, there are other ways to help:

  • Donate new children’s clothing
  • Become a respite provider
  • Provide a job for a foster youth
  • Donate school supplies, new toys or new duffle bags or suitcases
  • Make a financial contribution to SaintA
  • Recognize a person helping youth in foster care in your community
  • Volunteer to hang posters, distribute fliers or help with administrative tasks (folding and stuffing for mailings, etc.)
  • Send home flyers with youth and families
  • Assist with recognition events for foster/adoptive parents
  • Donate new smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors
  • Wear a blue ribbon to draw attention to foster/adoptive care
  • Continue to learn about foster/adoptive care to gain a better understanding
  • Invite us to make presentations to your faith-based congregation, civic group, PTA or other organization
  • Encourage business leaders to support young people in foster care
  • Like SaintA on Facebook
  • Follow SaintA on Twitter
  • Ask your school, employer or faith community to run an ad or an article on foster care or adoption in their newsletter
  • Stay informed
  • Become a caring adult for a foster youth
  • Encourage business leaders to support young people in foster care
  • Stay informed

The need is great. The rewards are greater. For complete information, visit growhope.net or contact us at (855) GROW-HOPE or growhope@sainta.org

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