• Eddie, age 19 says: “If I didn’t have the people I have in my life, I could easily see myself going down the wrong path…if you have that person you can call or you can contact that will help you, you won’t turn to things that aren’t good for you.”
• All Mike, age 12 wants is a forever family because his parents aren’t healthy enough to care for him.
• Carrie’s goals include doing well in school, going to college and becoming a Veterinarian. In order to do that, she needs to live in a stable environment, free of domestic violence.
• Anthony graduated with his class, despite missing the first two years of high school. He now has a job, his own apartment and is self sufficient, thanks to foster parents who provided him a safe nurturing home life. His connection with them is so strong he goes “home” for Sunday dinners and considers them to be his “Mom” and “Dad”.
• Marshall has ambitions to be a speech therapist. He graduated from high school; his foster parents helped him apply for financial assistance; and he is now attending college on a PELL grant to achieve his dream.
Despite the personal hardships that brought them into the foster care system, these kids have proven they can succeed even thought they have more obstacles to overcome than most of their peers. Many show great fortitude and perseverance, while others struggle and need more support. Just as our biological kids have hopes, dreams, fears and insecurities, so do kids in foster care. Given the right circumstances, structure, and support, any child can be successful in obtaining their dreams and achieving their goals. Kids in foster care can find success, despite the odds against them.
Becoming a foster parent is easier than you might think. Steps include a background screening, medical clearance, positive references, a safety check of the home, and training. Utah Foster Care Foundation (UFCF) has experienced staff and foster parents in southern Utah, based out of St. George, so it’s easy to contact them at (435)656-8065 or 877-505-KIDS (5437) or go online www.utahfostercare.org to get details on how to start your journey.
• 2600 children are in foster care in Utah
• 240 children in foster care live in Southwest Utah
• Families are needed to care for kids over age 8 & sibling groups
• Individuals may be married or single; own or rent their home
• Families are needed in every community so kids who are brought into foster care don’t have to change schools, friends and teachers
• Utah Foster Care Foundation provides free training and support is provided to families to help them meet the needs of children in foster care