May is National Foster Care Month, and Local 4 News This Morning invited licensing representative Vickie Burke and foster parent Tricia Mans from Bethany for Children & Families to discuss the fostering.

Bethany for Children & Families is a private child welfare, mental health, community education and social services provider that has offered aid and support to children and families in western Illinois and eastern Iowa since 1899.

There is a need for foster parents, particularly for older children.

A child gets placed in a foster care program when the parent fails to provide for the child in an appropriate manner and the Department of Child and Family Services has deemed the child is no longer safe in the home.

There are challenges of being a foster parent. Some of these challenges include normalizing the child into the home and helping them through trauma they have experienced.  There is a shortage of providers to meet and address the needs of foster care children and their families, which extends their time in foster care and causes frustration for everyone involved.

But becoming a foster parent is important. It allows you to become part of a larger community and make a difference by providing a safe and stable environment until a child can reunite with their biological parents.

 The overall goal of foster care is reunification with the family. However Bethany for Children & Families does have a percentage of children who are adopted by a relative or a non-relative.      

More information about becoming a foster parent and Bethany for Children & Family can be found here.