Imagine being a child again. Maybe your childhood was full of good memories, happy times with your parents, laughing, going on vacations, playing with your siblings and feeling loved.
Not all children have those memories. For some, childhood is a time of uncertainty, fraught with not knowing where home will be from day to day or which parent will be well enough to keep everyone safe.
Will there be food? Comfort? For a child, those questions can be frighteningly real and lead to disruptions in life that affect school, friendships and development.
Thankfully there are some very caring people who open their homes and hearts to children who have, for one reason or another, been removed from their homes and are in need of love, guidance and gentle teaching.
The Kenosha Human Development Services Specialized Foster Care Program offers people interested in becoming foster parents the opportunity to learn how to provide quality care to a child or children who may need more intense care due to the circumstances from which they came.
KHDS foster care offers every prospective foster parent pre-service training. This training takes place before any child is placed in the home, so the foster parents are well equipped with skills and methods to teach and guide the child through any emotional rough spots as they welcome him or her into their lives.
Once a child is placed, each foster family is assigned to a foster care consultant who meets with the family at least twice per week to see how the child is doing and how the family is working through any issues. Initially, the consultant will meet more than the required twice per week to ensure the child adjusts to their new home.
The consultant will also have phone contact and are available twenty-four hours per day to the foster family. They work as a team to make sure the relationship between foster parents and child is always progressing, growing and positive.
The families in the KHDS Specialized Foster Care Program will tell you that it is the most gratifying thing they have done in their lives. There are children in Kenosha who need caring foster parents. If you’ve ever thought about opening your heart to one of these kids, why not take some time to get more information.
This might be the time for you to take a chance on love! For information on Specialized Foster Care, call Lisa Retzlaff at 262-764 8582 or Katie Myer at 262-764- 8555.
Mary Lindqvist is director with Kenosha Human Development Services, a local nonprofit agency that seeks to ensure that all people — especially those with the fewest resources — have access to the opportunities and support they need to succeed in life.