Last month we focused on answering the question of what is foster care, so now that you have a better understanding of the topic, let’s put that into perspective and talk about what Racine County’s current needs are and how you can help. Currently, Racine County has a daily average of 191 children placed in out of home care, 40 children placed out of county. That is a dramatic decrease from the over 312 daily average and 100 out of county in 2017, however, Racine County still needs your help as our work is never finished. Every Monday morning our team has a meeting to discuss which children in our community still need to find a home. As of today, we have the following needs:
- A two-year-old boy
- A 9-year-old boy
- A 10-year-old girl
- Two 11-year-old boys
- A 14-year-old girl
- A 15-year-old girl
- A 15-year-old boy
- A 16-year-old girl
Though this might not seem like a lot, these are nine children that currently have an unknown tomorrow as we struggle to have a home that is ready, willing and able to accept them. All these children have specialized care needs that would need to be met. These needs include accepting that some of these children are involved in the justice system. Some of them might need an adoptive resource. All these children need specialized therapy. These children do have services provided to them to assist with meeting their needs, the one piece of the puzzle they are missing is a patient, consistent, nurturing home. To be a foster parent is to be resilient and think outside the box regarding helping to heal these children while aiding in the construction and teaching of significant development building blocks that might have been missed during their formative years. However, I do believe that there is an appropriate match for each of these children in our community, the right provider just doesn’t know about the opportunity yet.
This leads me to discuss ways you can help! There are always ways you can help foster care programs, families and children, if you are not ready to become a licensed foster provider yourself, most importantly, by being a community ambassador, speaking up and sharing information. Other ways that one can help include:
- Becoming a respite provider: respite providers assist with childcare needs when foster providers need a break. Respite providers are babysitters for foster parents.
- Donate to Racine County’s Foster Care Enrichment Fund: This is a monetary fund provided to foster families for their foster children to participate in extracurricular activities.
- Business Owners: provide free or discounted services, such as haircuts, house cleaning service and/or date nights/family nights to parents and their children. Offer a teen foster child a job or internship, assist in recruitment efforts by posting information or sponsoring an Information Session, allowing foster care staff to come speak with you, your employees, or opening it up to the public so they can learn about you, your company and the program.
- Adopt a foster family: offer respite care services, family, peer and co-parenting support, a family or couples’ night out or meals and/or mentor or tutor a foster child.
- Like, Share and Follow Social Media pages and help share! You can like, share and follow Racine County Foster Care on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/racinecountyfostercare/
As always, you can learn more about Racine County Foster Care by attending an Information Session, held on the 3rd Wednesday or 3rd Saturday of the month. For any questions, comments, concerns or ponderings, feel free to contact Jessica Scheeler at 262-638-6595 or via email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure to catch our article next month to learn about the licensing process!