Need for Foster Parents Is Staggering

May is recognized as national Foster Care Month. The need for individuals and couples to become foster parents is truly staggering.

Melissa Dombrowski-Boling

Miriam Webster defines the word “foster” as “affording, receiving, or sharing nurture or parental care though not related by blood or legal ties.” Foster care is intended to provide a temporary living arrangement for children who have been removed from, or voluntarily placed outside of, their biological family. This usually is because of abuse or neglect, or because the parents, for some other reason, cannot provide adequate care.

The ultimate goal is to find safe, permanent homes for children. This typically is done by reunification with their families of origin. Other possible permanent living arrangements are adoption or placement with a permanent legal guardian.

Statistics help magnify the need for individuals and couples to become foster parents. The numbers are eye-opening. Approximately 399,546 children in the United States live in a foster care setting. In Wisconsin on any given day, approximately 6,255 children live in out-of-home care. In 2012, in Wisconsin, 4,453 children entered foster care.

The decision to pursue licensure is life changing. If you are not able to become a licensed foster/adoptive parent, there are other ways to help:

  • Donate new children’s clothing
  • Become a respite provider
  • Provide a job for a foster youth
  • Donate school supplies, new toys or new duffle bags or suitcases
  • Make a financial contribution to SaintA
  • Recognize a person helping youth in foster care in your community
  • Volunteer to hang posters, distribute fliers or help with administrative tasks (folding and stuffing for mailings, etc.)
  • Send home flyers with youth and families
  • Assist with recognition events for foster/adoptive parents
  • Donate new smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors
  • Wear a blue ribbon to draw attention to foster/adoptive care
  • Continue to learn about foster/adoptive care to gain a better understanding
  • Invite us to make presentations to your faith-based congregation, civic group, PTA or other organization
  • Encourage business leaders to support young people in foster care
  • Like SaintA on Facebook
  • Follow SaintA on Twitter
  • Ask your school, employer or faith community to run an ad or an article on foster care or adoption in their newsletter
  • Stay informed
  • Become a caring adult for a foster youth
  • Encourage business leaders to support young people in foster care
  • Stay informed

The need is great. The rewards are greater. For complete information, visit growhope.net or contact us at (855) GROW-HOPE or growhope@sainta.org

2 Responses to Need for Foster Parents Is Staggering

  1. Heather Saunders says:

    I have several questions about St. Ann’s. In Wisconsin you are normally licensed to do foster care through your county or your neighboring county but can only be licensed in one county. Does St. Ann’s License through Milwaukee or because you are a private organization and not the county human services dept? Or do you issue a “state” License because you are private? If so does this open up the ability to foster kids from all over Wisconsin? I have looked at your website I am still looking for answers.
    Thank you,
    Heather Saunders

    • Melissa Dombrowski-Boling says:

      Heather, the short answer is…. Per state statues, SaintA is licensed by the State of Wisconsin as a Child Placing Agency. We provide BOTH public foster care services for Milwaukee County and “private” treatment foster care services throughout most of the state of Wisconsin.

      We would love to speak with you directly and answer any questions you may have… give us a call at 855-GROW-HOPE or e-mail us at growhope@SaintA.org and one of our foster care staff can provide you with additional information!

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