May is Foster Care Awareness month. Make plans now to have your company or group host an event to raise awareness for the need for Foster parents and Foster Care support in your area.
Please contact us for ways you can help!
Why do we need foster care?
Monday, June 8, social worker Gina is walking to her car. She is running late to do a
home visit with a foster parent. As she is unlocking her car she hears another vehicle approaching.
She notices out of the corner of her eye a small girl getting out of the car. She barely glances
at the driver. After all this is a public parking lot. What finally catches her attention is the
car accelerates loudly and speeds away, leaving the young girl standing alone holding a blanket and
a teddy bear. Tears are beginning to well up in the girl’s eyes as she looks around trying to decide
where she should go. Gina knows her plans have changed. She goes over to the girl, whom she guesses
to be about 5 years old, and asks her name and where her mommy is. The little girl puts on her big
girl face and says in a strained voice, “my name is Jane, and my mommy was driving the car, she told
me I would live here now and I am really scared”.
Gina takes Jane by the hand and leads her into the building and begins dialing the foster mother’s
number to cancel the home visit. While calling she notices she has a voice mail, she plays it.
“Hey Gina this is Linda, I have three foster children in my home right now. My father just had
a medical emergency and needs me to stay with him out of state. The stay is indefinite and I am
leaving tonight. I will have the children and their things at your office by 6 pm”, Gina looks
at the clock and it is 5:30. She has no foster parents in her group that have space for three
children so she starts on the placement of Jane and puts out a call for help to the other foster
case workers. No one has space for all three children and she cannot place Jane until she can
figure out her full name, social security number, and hopefully her parents’ identity. The day
keeps getting longer.
I wish this story were made up. I wish I could tell you that I changed more than the names of
the people for dramatic purposes, but I can’t. I also wish I could tell you that someone took
Jane and she is happy and healthy, I wish I could say the three siblings stayed together and
run and play in open fields of butterflies daily, but I can’t. You see, Jane had to be placed
in a therapeutic home. That home was specialized for special needs children. She is not special
needs. She is exposed daily to a 15 year boy who has the mind of an 18 month old. His screaming
tantrums scare her so bad she hides under her bed. The three children from the foster home could
not be placed together. They found a place for the two younger children together. However, the
oldest child, a straight A student going into the 5th grade had to be placed in a local detention
home. He had no disciplinary issues to speak of prior to this.
I wonder what kind of impact being sent to live there will have on this young boy.
I wonder why more people won’t open their home and heart to become foster parents.
I wonder what you are waiting for.
The number of children in foster care in Alabama grows daily, really, what are you waiting for?
For more information on how to become a foster parent in the state of Alabama please visit:
Department of Human Resources, Madison County Al
Be a hero for someone. Become a foster parent.