(AREA) Iowa KidsNet is looking for Iowans with some extra room in their homes and hearts.
Iowa has approximately 2,300 foster families, however there is an ongoing need for more families as children continue to enter the system and current families leave.
Barbie Bluml, Licenser and Recruiter for Iowa KidsNet, said the greatest need for foster families in southwest Iowa are in Cass, Pottawattamie and Montgomery counties.
“The greatest need in our area is definitely families who will take sibling groups, families who are willing to take teenagers; those are some of the harder to place kids, and then just kids that have some of the more difficult behaviors and special needs,” explained Bluml. “We also need families from different ethnic backgrounds. When we can put a child in a home with someone who comes from the same ethnic background we can keep them connected to their heritage and their history, that’s just a lot better for them.”
Bluml said anyone can be a foster parent.
“There is no exact type of person that we look for, we need all kinds of people,” said Bluml. “Some people might thing they’re too young or too old or that they don’t have a traditional family, whether it be a single parent family or a same sex couple, we just need people who have a heart for kids and can be patient, have a sense of humor and want to help.”
Within the past year, Cass County had 38 children referred into foster care, but only 19 licensed resource families. Pottawattamie County had 174 children referred into foster care, but only 69 licensed foster families. Montgomery County had 19 children referred into foster care, but only 9 licensed resource families.
Anyone interested in becoming a foster parent can visit www.iowakidsnet.com or call the toll-free, 24-hour number: 1-800-243-0756.