STATEHOUSE (Jan. 26, 2018) — State Rep. Cindy Ziemke (R-Batesville) 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.
During the event, Ziemke welcomed IARCA member organizations including representatives from Fayette Regional Care Pavilion. Fayette Regional is a full affiliate member of IARCA and provides comprehensive behavioral health services for youth and their families.
“Taking care of the kids in our community placing them in safe homes and giving them the care they need is crucial,” Ziemke said. “Recently, the Fayette Regional Care Pavilion expanded their in-patient services by over 30 beds and are constantly reinventing their services to better serve Connersville. It’s services like Fayette Regional that make all the difference.”
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. Ziemke said much of this increase is due to the escalating opioid epidemic.
“Becoming a foster parent, volunteering with a local foster care agency and supporting organizations like Fayette Regional Health can leave a huge impact on the life of a kid in our community,” Ziemke 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.
State Rep. Cindy Ziemke (R-Batesville) represents House District 55, which includes
all of Fayette County and portions of Decatur, Franklin, Ripley and Rush counties.
A high-resolution photo of Ziemke can be downloaded by clicking here.
Pictured: State Rep. Cindy Ziemke (R-Batesville) welcomed Katrina Norris and Renee Nesbitt with Fayette Regional Care Pavilion to the Bags of Hope event on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, at the Statehouse. Ziemke recognized them on the important work they do for Fayette County.