Officials with an organization that helps foster kids in Iowa say there’s an urgent need right now for families willing to take in children. Addie Martinez, with Iowa KidsNet, says there are currently 6,100 Iowa kids in foster care and her group is especially focused on finding families for teens, minorities and children with special needs.
“Anybody can become a foster parent” Martinez said. “We have foster parents who are single, students and same-sex couples.” Cindy Kettelkamp and her husband have opened up their home in Marion to more than 25 foster children in the last 14 years.
“It’s such a blessing to us. We get to be involved with these kids and get to see them grow and change and blossom and become really neat people,” Kettelkamp said. In addition to the foster children, the Kettelkamps have five biological children and adopted three more children.
Martinez notes not all foster children are up for adoption, as many will at some point go back to their parents. “It’s very important foster parents understand their role,” Martinez said.
“They are working hand in hand with birth parents, when appropriate, and trying to reunite children with the birth parents.” More information on becoming a foster parent is available at: www.IowaKidsNet.org
By Heather Hubbs, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids