To the editor:
As you celebrate July's upcoming Independence Day with your family, please consider what you could do to help children and families in our own community become more independent.
There is an urgent need in Webster County and the surrounding region for families who are willing to foster teens, as well as sibling groups of all ages. For example, in a one-year period, Hamilton, Webster and Wright County had over 144 children referred into foster care, but only had an average of about 55 resource families. 54 of these children referred into foster care were age 13 and up.
Nationally, each year about 27,000 youths turn 18 and age out of foster care, often without the support or resources needed to make a successful transition to young adulthood. You can make a difference for Iowa teens simply by sharing the things many of us take for granted - like family dinners, a stable home or the support and guidance of a caring adult. Our area also has a need for respite families who can provide short-term care, such as during a weekend. Respite care is a good way to get started exploring foster care.
If you're interested in learning how your family can make a difference through foster care, please contact me at (515) 291-3230 or firstname.lastname@example.org.