STATEHOUSE (Feb. 6, 2018) — State Rep. Dave Wolkins (R-Warsaw) 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.
“There is a growing number of children in our foster care system and we need more people stepping in to care for them,” Wolkins said. “If you are not in a position to become a foster parent, you can still donate your time and resources to organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters that support foster kids.”
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. Wolkins said much of this increase is due to the escalating opioid epidemic.
"More than half of these children have a parent with substance abuse problems,” Wolkins said. “The opioid epidemic only exacerbates the issue.”
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, Oaklawn is a member agency of IARCA that provides a full range of mental health and addiction services for children and adolescents.
Rep. Dave Wolkins (R-Warsaw) represents House District 18,
which includes Wabash and portions of Kosciusko, Miami and Grant counties.
A high-resolution photo of Wolkins can be downloaded by clicking here
PHOTO CAPTION: State Rep. Dave Wolkins (R-Warsaw) 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.