“We literally want to let people know that foster parents do provide care out of the goodness of their heart and because they want to provide a stable and safe environment for kids. And it’s kind of a thankless job — so we just want to show that we are appreciative for that. We also want to let people know that we have a need for more foster kids all the time,” according to Bambi Schrader of the Iowa Kids Network.
She says the need for foster parents continues to grow. “We have about 2,300 licensed foster parents in Iowa right now…2,550 children just last year were placed into foster care. So, we are already at a deficit, and some of those homes already have children in them,” Schrader says. She says there are some 4,000 kids across the state who need foster care. She says they are looking for anyone who is willing to help.
“We need homes of all shapes, sizes, types, varieties,” Schrader explains. Schrader says there are some key things that make a good foster family.
“We look for families that have stability and their income doesn’t have to be that of a rich person, but it has to be stable enough so that when they bring in a child it is not going to be a deficit for them,” Schrader explains. ” Really, we just need all different the types of families who can step up for the children that we have in foster care.” Schrader says every parents faces challenges with their own kids, and taking on foster kids is no different.
“I think when you take a child who comes from trauma that has been removed from parental care due to unsafe situations — you are definitely going to have some more challenging things to go through,” Schrader says. She says they help parent deal with the challenges and determine what is causing the challenges so they can work to change that behavior. Schrader encourages anyone interested in foster care to seek out more information.
You can go to their website at: www.iowakidsnet.com, or you can call 1-800-243-0756. Schrader says once you call they will let you know the requirements for being a foster parents and then will work you through the process to be able help the kids who need a home.