Foster parents are very special

May is Foster Care Month, and it is a good time to thank those foster parents who open their hearts and homes to children.

There are 13 foster homes in Jefferson County serving 14 children.

Many of the children placed in foster care may never have felt safe and secure inside a home. They may not understand what a loving family is all about. Some are born drug dependent.

It takes a special person to be a foster parent. Many think they can’t be a foster parent because they don’t fit the mold. There is no mold.

A foster parent can be a single woman or man. A foster family could have their own biological children.

But foster parents, regardless of their home situation, provide a valuable resource to the most vulnerable children in the county.

Some become foster parents in order to adopt a child or children. Others do it simply out of love for children.

As adoptions increase, it fills the foster family home. The Jefferson County Job and Family Services, Children Services Division, then has to find new foster parents.

Children services reported six adoptions were finalized last year. Five were finalized so far this year, and seven are pending.

These were are all Jefferson County children, but not all were adopted by Jefferson County foster/adoptive parents, children services reported. Some of them were placed in homes in other counties or private networks and adopted by their foster parents, the agency reported.

It is a tough job being a foster parent, but the rewards are great. Foster parents know the pain of having a child for several months, getting attached and then watching the child being reunited with his or her biological family. But the parents know they touched that child’s life in some small way.

Ask any foster parents and they first speak of the rewards.

Consider the calling to become a foster parent. Contact children services if you are willing to take a shot at being an important part in the life of a child who may not know what it is like to be a part of a loving and caring home.

Foster parents accept the task because they love children, and love is missing from the lives of so many children. They open their hearts and homes to the children who need help the most. These children have experienced neglect and abuse. It takes a special person to connect with the foster child. These children are desperately in need of love.

Please consider being a foster parent. Some child really needs you.