Foster parents know the joys and heartaches of their job.
They are called at all hours of the night and day and must be ready to open their hearts and homes to a child in need of a safe, warm and loving environment.
There was a time when most of the children came from homes where there was abuse and neglect.
Some things have changed. Now foster parents are being asked to care for infants who were born to mothers who were abusing drugs during pregnancy.
May is Foster Parent Awareness Month in Jefferson County.
There are 20 foster homes in the county serving about 33 children. Some of the homes have multiple foster children, including a group of siblings.
Foster parents must complete hours of training and numerous house inspections before they can take in their first child.
Many foster parents take on the job because they hope to adopt the children under their care. Many of those stories have a happy endings with the child or children becoming a permanent part of the family. Other times, children services reunites the foster children with their biological parent or parents or with another family member. Those times hurt foster parents, who gave unconditional love over a period of time to their foster children. It is the reality faced by every foster parent.
But foster parents know that the love they share with the child, no matter how brief, can have a big impact on the child for the rest of his or her life.
Jefferson County is always in need of special parents willing to take in foster children. Consider the calling and contact children services if you are willing to take a shot at being an important aspect 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, as love is missing from the lives of so many children.
Thanks to foster families - true heroes of the community - for your dedication to children who need the help of a good family structure.