- THE NEED
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In Colorado Springs, 700 children currently reside in a shortage of 200 foster homes. Foster parents are not employed to care for the children in their home; they volumteer.
Reimbursement payments cover a portion of housing, food and clothing costs, but many foster parents use their own funds to give the children the same clothes or opportunities as their biologic children.
Foster parents are overwhelmed. They must regularly keep in contact with the court and the system that is ensuring the welfare of each child. They not only feed and shelter children, but they ensure regular contact with their biological families, and take children to therapies, court appointments, and doctor appointments. They desire to provide stability, nurture and a sense of community for each child. If there is more than one child in foster care in the family, the burden is multiplied. Foster parents often run out of personal resources or time to provide more than just the basics.
Foster parents find it difficult to persist. Some foster care agencies in Colorado Springs lose 30-50% of family foster homes each year. It is difficult work, with little incentive or reward. People who foster are increasingly isolated and frustrated. Those who "hang in there" are amazingly competent and committed – but there are far too few of them.
If foster parents were to get a little help and support from their community, they would be able to continue to fulfill this important need. If extra hands could help share in all the tasks and duties, more time would be available for the foster parents to create the stable, nurturing, enriched environments in their homes that promote healing.
That is where Fostering Hope comes in. We provide those supports to foster families, so they can persist in doing the difficult task of fostering children who have challenging needs.