November is National Adoption Month, a time set aside each year to raise awareness about the adoption of children and youth from foster care. This is also an ideal time to highlight the tremendous efforts put forth to improve the lives of children in foster care and to stress the growing need for quality foster parents in our community.
More than 6,800 children in the state of Kentucky are in foster care. The reasons why vary.
Some biological parents aren’t able to give appropriate physical and emotional care or supervision.
Some parents and some children can’t control their behaviors.
Some families have temporary crises, such as health problems or loss of income and housing.
Some parents have serious parenting problems due to drug abuse, mental illness or other conditions.
Some parents voluntarily place their children for adoption.
The why isn’t as important as the fact that children and youth – particularly teens – need safe, nurturing homes where they can get their feet under themselves and begin to heal and grow.
Research has shown that a safe, nurturing home can help repair the damage caused to children and youth because of abuse and neglect, helping them to go on to lead normal lives.
The shortage of foster parents in Hardin and LaRue counties makes it a challenge to find homes for our kids in the area. When there is no local home available, the child often has to leave the community in order to be placed in a safe environment elsewhere. So not only do our kids have to deal with having been removed from their biological family, he or she also had to adapt to being away from their known school, friends and other supports.
Please consider becoming a foster parent. You don’t have to be married, rich or perfect. You just need to be willing to parent a child in need.
Help us guide our children today, which helps us have a better future tomorrow.
Jerianne Strange, regional trainer
New Beginnings Family Services, Elizabethtown