STATEHOUSE (Feb. 6, 2018) — State Rep. Dave Heine (R-New Haven) recently joined fellow House lawmakers to fill diaper bags with donated baby supplies for foster families across Indiana.
The Indiana House of Representatives partnered with the Indiana Association of Resources and Child Advocacy and its Institute for Excellence, a nonprofit organization serving more than 4,600 Hoosier children every day, to host the “Bags of Hope” event.
House lawmakers and staff held a donation drive at the Statehouse and collected over 3,800 items for foster families caring for newborns and infants, including diapers, diaper bags, wet wipes, blankets, clothes and toys. Together with IARCA, more than 100 diaper bags were filled to be distributed to local foster families.
“Indiana currently does not have enough foster parents to care for all the children in our foster care system,” Heine said. “Providing children with a place to call home is rewarding. My brother was a foster parent to many children, and there has been no greater joy than being a part of those children’s lives – teaching and watching them grow.”
According to the Department of Child Services, the number of children in out-of-home care jumped from 13,811 in September 2015, to 17,214 just two years later. Heine said much of this increase is due to the escalating opioid epidemic.
“I encourage Hoosiers to get involved and help foster children by becoming a foster parent or participating with organizations who support foster kids, like Big Brothers Big Sisters,” Heine said.
Foster parents in Indiana need to be over the age of 21 and pass a criminal background check, as well as meet certain standards outlined by DCS. Foster parents do not have to be married or own a home. There are also children in foster care waiting to be adopted, and their stories can be found at www.in.gov/dcs.
IARCA serves children in foster homes, group homes and treatment facilities while working closely with DCS to improve the lives of children. Locally, Benchmark Family Services, Inc. is a member agency of IARCA and a network of professional, therapeutic foster homes and committed staff with the goal of providing stable out-of-home placements for children in need.
Rep. Dave Heine (R-New Haven) represents House District 85,
which is a portion of Allen County to the Ohio state line.
A high-resolution photo of Heine can be downloaded by clicking here.
PHOTO CAPTION: State Rep. Dave Heine (R-New Haven) (right) donates a new diaper bag filled with much-needed baby supplies for an Indiana foster family during the “Bags of Hope” event on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, at the Statehouse in Indianapolis. This session, House lawmakers partnered with the Indiana Association of Resources and Child Advocacy and its Institute for Excellence to help raise awareness of the growing need for foster families.