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Foster Care an Important Service in Washington County

Posted: Friday, May 19th, 2017 at 6:27 am
Author: KCII News - Sam McIntosh

May is National Foster Care Month, and there is a need for foster parents more now than ever.

The Iowa Kids Net serves to provide foster kids with a home in Washington County. Bambi Schrader who works for Iowa Kids Net talks about the lack of homes in our service area, “There is a great need across the state. A couple of statistics I have for a part of your service area is more than 545 children were referred in foster care last year but we only had 441 foster homes in that service area.”

The lack of foster homes means more children must wait in shelters or treatment facilities according to Schrader. Multiple kids get put into foster homes. Schrader says a misconception of foster care is that people think the qualifications are as stringent as other adoption services, as she says, “Not that we have less or not as intense standards but we just have different qualifications. You can be married or single, you can be widowed or divorced, you can be a same sex family, you can be a single [parent] family. We ask that people are financially stable, but you don’t have to have a vast income. We look at the amount of space in the home for additional children as well as time and availability that kind of stuff. So I really think if people just stepped up and take a chance, make the call, that they would qualify. We have a lot of people that think that these kids are in care because of their behaviors, and that is just absolutely 100% not true. I would say 95% of the kids are there because of parental choices, and it’s very little to do with the reasons that the kids are in care, but the kids have behaviors because they are still working through issues and trying to work through trauma and grief and loss.”

To become a foster parent you can contact Iowa Kids Net by going to their website or calling 1-800-243-0756. An Iowa Kids Net specialist will then conduct an informational session.