The state of foster care in Indiana :: A Children’s Bureau piece

//The state of foster care in Indiana :: A Children’s Bureau piece

DISCLAIMER: Hey reader! Please know Children’s Bureau, Inc is a valued partner of theCityMoms. Because of this relationship, we occasionally share sponsored content we feel could be valuable or interesting for your family, like this intimate look into the Parker family’s experience with foster care, thanks to guidance and support championed by Children’s Bureau. Read on, reader…

Today, there are more than 13,000 children in foster care in the state of Indiana. 13,000 children who need comfort, compassion, care, guidance, warm meals, and a safe home. We are facing a crisis serving these children, with currently only 5,700 foster homes in the state. There are simply too many children who need care and not enough homes available to support them.

foster care Indiana - Children's Bureau

Children’s Bureau, Inc. is seeking to alleviate this strain on the foster care system. Children’s Bureau is a local nonprofit that licenses, trains, matches, and supports foster families. They recently shared with theCityMoms during our inaugural Mommahood event, how many families and individuals think they don’t have the right qualifications or credentials to serve as a foster parent.

Contrary to myths surrounding fostering, many Hoosiers do meet the qualifications. Foster parents can be single, married, or cohabiting, they need not have previous parenting experience (the Children’s Bureau will provide training), and you don’t need to own your home {you must own, lease, or rent}.

There is no age limit to fostering – as long as you are in good mental and physical health – providing an option to individuals who may wish to foster after their biological children are grown.  

Foster families often remark they felt a call to help, sometimes long before they were able to do so. Donna Kempf felt that call after seeing her siblings provide temporary foster care to children. Before their wedding, more than 2 decades ago, she told her soon-to-be husband she knew she’d like to foster at some point, after they had started their biological family.  After moving to Indiana, she had heard of the overwhelming local need for foster families, and knew the time was right. “We felt like we had the space, we had the ability, and it was always something that was important to us.” They were matched with a medically fragile 5-month-old girl, for whom they have been providing care the past two years. Despite the challenges of fostering, the Kempf’s continue to serve and credit much of that to the stellar support and great relationships they have with the Children’s Bureau.

While some families, like the Kempfs, provide care for infants or young children, the greatest need currently facing our area is for teenage children. In fact, a disproportionate number of teens are in the foster care system with few families willing to accept them.  A common myth is that teenage foster children are more difficult. “All children placed in foster care have experienced loss, no matter if they are a toddler or a teenager. And each child needs are unique and will require patience, compassion, and some level of specialized care,” said Ghislene Legere, licensing specialist with Children’s Bureau.

WE’VE TALKED ABOUT THIS BEFORE TOO: Foster care and Children’s Bureau – the Parker Family story

Don’t let the needs of these children intimidate you, the Children’s Bureau not only provides extensive training, but also 24/7 staff assistance, financial support to ease the burden of bringing a child into your home, and a network of other foster families. “We like to connect you with other foster families for support, in addition to our staff support,” explains Ghislene. Families working with the Children’s Bureau credit the attentive staff with making their experience positive. “I know if I have a problem, I can call [the Children’s Bureau], and they’re there to help me,” said Kempf.

Just one family agreeing to foster helps ease the crisis and that one family will mean a world of difference to a child. The Children’s Bureau recommends asking yourself 3 questions: ‘Do you have the time? What is the impact going to be on your current family? Can you let go?’ The primary goal of foster care is to reunite the child with his or her family. While adoption can occur, foster parents are prepared “to love a child, even if it’s just for a season.” Each foster family makes a lasting impact on a child, but that child also positively impacts the family.

MORE INFORMATION: The Children’s Bureau of Indianapolis has served local families since 1851 to support their vision of a healthy family for every child. In addition to providing foster care services, they provide educational programming and support to prevent entry into child welfare, work with families in the welfare system and aid them in keeping their children,  and offer guidance to children and families moving beyond the foster program. Visit their website for additional information.



Laurel Price - theCityMomsLaurel Price traded in her former career of wrangling Fraternity & Sorority members as a university Greek Advisor for wrangling her her 4 year old son and two year old daughter. She recently returned to her undergraduate background of Public Relations and supports the Urban Chalkboard as their Communications Director.

Laurel loves reading {her resolution is to read at least 36 books this year}, long solo trips to Target, all things natural parenting, and {according to her husband} is becoming an obsessive environmentalist.

2019-03-18T16:03:43-05:00March 18th, 2019|
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