Rep. Arnold: Showing appreciation for Indiana's foster parents

Posted by: Peter Hoffman  | Thursday, May 26, 2016

May is National Foster Care Month and it gives us the opportunity to show how much we appreciate the work foster families do for so many children in Indiana. There are currently more than 6,300 Hoosier children living in non-relative foster homes due to child abuse or neglect.

I cannot emphasize enough the impact that foster parents have on the lives of children. The decision to open your home to raise and nurture a child is not an easy one and I am thankful that Indiana is full of people willing to do just that. There are many families across the state who have stepped forward to be caring foster families, but there is always a need for more.

Below are a few easy ways for Hoosiers to get involved and help raise awareness for the year-round needs of youth in foster care.

  • Be a foster parent – Make a real and lasting difference by temporarily sharing your home, time, energy and love with a child in need. Department of Child Services recently completed a new 30-second foster parent recruitment video, which features current and former foster parents and children from around the state encouraging others to apply to be foster parents. You can view the video online and learn more about becoming a foster parent by visiting fostercare.in.gov.
  • Honor a foster parent – Attend or organize a foster care month event such as a dinner, coffee gathering, picnic or charity auction to raise awareness and express appreciation for foster parents. Contact a foster care agency in your area for more information about events and other ways to help.
  • Be a volunteer child advocate – Court-appointed special advocate (CASA) volunteers are trained citizens appointed by judges to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. You can learn more at www.childadvocatesnetwork.org.

Together, we can strengthen the family structure that is so crucial to the well-being and development of the next generation of Hoosiers. I want to say ‘thank you’ to all those who have selflessly shared their lives with foster children and I encourage others to take the time to consider doing the same.

As always, please contact me with questions or input at 317-232-9793 or by email at h74@iga.in.gov. You can also learn more about the work being done on your behalf by signing up to receive my email updates at www.in.gov/h74.

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Rep. Arnold (R-Leavenworth) represents portions of Spencer, Dubois, Perry, Crawford and Orange counties.