Over this past month of May, foster care organizations and agencies across the country have been celebrating these dedicated, hard-working folks who, in my words have a “heart-calling” to parent vulnerable children who come from difficult and traumatic backgrounds. According to recent data, there are approximately 440,000 children, birth to age 18 living in foster care in the U.S. Approximately 12,000 of these children in care reside in my home state of Georgia. (This number is down from approximately 18,000 back in 2012, which is encouraging).
The number of children in foster care has declined nationally over the past ten or so years. The increase in kinship foster care (in the care of a blood relative) is one reason for this decline. I salute those extended family members who reach out and sacrificially take in a younger brother or sister, nephew, niece, cousin or grandchild. Although some kinship homes have their own internal struggles, it can make all the difference in the world for a child to know that he or she is with blood relatives.
I also salute the husband/wife couples who foster. I know many single parents who foster, and they do a super job! But, in an era when so many fathers are absent in their children’s lives (due to divorce, incarceration or death) it can make a huge difference in a vulnerable child’s life to have a strong foster dad teaming up with a strong foster mom.
Readers, maybe you or someone close to you may have that “heart-calling” to foster. Many children are waiting, and you, or someone close to you, may be the answer to their waiting. Below, I’ve listed four excellent foster care organizations in the Atlanta area with whom I have personal knowledge of, and contact with. Please check out the excellent work they are doing!
Bloom Foster Care, Fayetteville, GA www.bloomouryouth.org
Families 4 Families, Loganville, GA www.families4families.cc
Crossroads Foster & Adoption Program at Christian City, Union City, GA www.christiancity.org/crossroads
Childkind, Inc., Tucker, GA (specializing in medically fragile children) childkind.org