Local group works to ease the journey for foster parents
JACKSON, Tenn. — The Madison County Foster Parent Association exists to help foster parents through every stage of the journey, from the moment they get approved to be a foster home, all the way till permanency, where either the kid is returning back home with their biological parents, or being adopted.
“It’s always a middle of the night call,” said president Renae Adelsberger. “And the child is sometimes pulled out of bed and is brought to your doorstep quite often with exactly what’s on their backs. They don’t usually get to grab toys, stuffed animals, blankets, and so we try to fill in that gap for everything you need.”
Clothes, toys, hygiene products, and any essentials for newborns all the way to 18-year-olds are available to all foster parents.
Now headed into colder weather, the closet needs more jackets, hats, gloves, shoes and socks. Gerdau surprised the association last week and let all of kids pick exactly which winter jacket they wanted.
“When the winter jackets come in and they still have the tags on them, some of the kids actually tear up because they say ‘this is brand new, and it’s mine.’ And they don’t have a concept of ownership, sometimes the kids quite often will say, ‘well I bring it back right?’ and you get to say ‘no, this is yours to keep,'” Adelsberger said.
With cold weather and the pandemic, many people are stuck indoors. So the association would also love to provide more books for the children.
“We have one bookshelf in the foster closet and it is dwindling by the day,” Adelsberger said. “We continue to have kids come and pick out books, children in foster care, we send them with books, and we would love to just instill that love of reading into our foster children.”
And above all, they need more foster care parents in Madison County.
“One of the biggest problems we’re having right now is kids in Madison County, who are coming into foster care [and] are having to leave Madison County, because we just don’t have enough foster parents,” Adelsberger said. “And that’s one of the hardest struggles because now, they are ripped from an entire community.”
For more information about the Madison County Foster Parent Association, click here.
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