GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The number of foster care children in Wisconsin is at a ten year high. That means the need for loving families to care for these kids is also growing.
“I just felt like I have the house, I have the heart, I just love kids and I wanted to give back” says Mary Hardie-Roze. She became a foster mom in 2014 and is encouraging others to explore the process.
“It is one of the harder jobs you will ever love. It is a lot of fun when you see the kids making progress, coming out of their shell” she says.
There is not a “right type” to become a foster parent. “It can be young, old, can have experience raising your own children, no children. It just takes somebody who has patience, who has determination and who wants to make an impact on our kids” explains Collin Drews at Foundations Health and Wholeness.
The non-profit helps train foster families and connect kids with loving homes. According to Drews “We work with counties across the state of Wisconsin. Generally what happens is if a county has a kiddo who they are unable to find a home for within their county or area, they reach out to the private agencies”.
Foundations offers a support system for the families, including a summer program where kids and teens learn life skills like cooking and laundry.
“We have monthly training, get-to-gethers where everybody gets together in a social setting” Hardie-Roze says.
Families or individuals interested in fostering go through a screening process. “We come to their house, get to see what their home life is like, what their home environment is like, how their personalities are” Drews explains. If approved, a match is made with a child who needs a place to live.
“They need love first and foremost. Just giving them love and stability and routine. They thrive on routine” Hardie-Roze says.
Foundations helps families navigate not only the paperwork, but also the emotions that come with fostering kids.
“You are going to get attached” Drews says. “You will get attached to the people who are around us on a daily basis we are going to love them and want to help them”.
Hardie-Roze agrees saying “It is a wonderful thing to do if you have got the space in your home, and the space in your heart. You will not regret it”.
To connect with Foundations and learn more about becoming a foster parent click here: foundationsgb.org