Need for more foster families in the Heartland grows during pandemic

Need for more foster families in the Heartland
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 10:17 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A Heartland organization says there’s an increased need for foster families in the region.

Foster parents are raising awareness, so kids can have a better chance to find a forever home.

“I have a big heart for kids. I think kids are amazing,” Terri Wunderlich, one foster parent said.

Wunderlich said she always wanted to be a mother.

In 2021 she went the untraditional route and became a foster mother.

She said she had no idea how much foster parents like her are needed, especially during the pandemic.

“I thought it was going to be a long time before I got a call. I did not realize they would be calling me all the time,” Wunderlich said.

Crissy Mayberry with Hope for One More, an organization that offers resources to foster families, shared this is common.

She’s pushing for families to take in foster kids.

“Throughout the pandemic, we saw more families that were quitting and giving up their foster care license and not as many families going through and getting license to become foster families,” Mayberry said.

She said less available homes, makes an already traumatic experience even worse for children.

“Kids tend to bounce around more from placement to placement. They spend several hours waiting for a placement and end up being separated from their brothers and sisters,” Mayberry said.

That keeps homes like Wunderlich’s full. She’s had 12 foster kids since last year, and she still gets calls.

“Hey, can you take this teenager for the night?’ The last 3 weeks I’ve had at least once a week,” Wunderlich said.

She hopes to see other safe homes for kids to stay in. Until then she said her door is wide open.

“I want kids to grow up and look back and be like, that lady helped me through one of the most difficult times of my life,” Wunderlich said.

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