If you haven’t been exposed to foster care, you might think that the best thing for children is for them to be “rescued” from their bad environment and removed from their parents and their home permanently. But that’s not true.
Foster care isn’t a quick, easy avenue to adoption. It’s loving, temporary care for children while their parents receive the support they need to welcome them home.
Children typically enter foster care due to traumatic events like abuse or neglect. We take these events very seriously, and the safety of each child is our chief concern. Foster parents provide critical care to these children when they are no longer able to safely live in their homes.
Through it all, foster parents as tasked with remembering that the primary goal of foster care is reunification. The best thing for children is for them to be reunited with their family of origin, but only when it is safe to do so. Foster parents provide care and love to a child while their parents are receiving the help, support, and resources they need to welcome their child back into a happy, healthy home.
So far this year, western Iowa children have been referred into foster care more than 500 times. Our state has an urgent need for more families to open their hearts and homes to children in foster care. And an urgent need for caring people to collaborate with birth families, walking alongside them as they build a better home environment for their children, no matter what challenges they may be grappling with.
If you’ve ever considered fostering, now is the time. When you become a foster parent, you’re doing more than just caring for children. You’re building stronger Iowa families.