Empowered to Connect Conference

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Some say becoming a foster parent can be one of most challenging yet rewarding gifts you can give to a child and yourself.
 
“You know it’s so eye-opening to become a foster parent, and to see the kind of trauma that these kids undergo,” said Wichita Falls Foster Parent Association vice president, Keri Goins. “To see what they’ve gone through, it’s amazing.”
 
Keri Goins adopted her son when he was only 9-months-old.
 
“They all come to us with different challenges, different things that they’ve been through,” Goins said. “These kids have been through some very difficult things–they come from some very hard places, but they’re all just amazing. They all have different personalities, different strengths.”
 
Becky Sanford and her husband, Roger, have been fostering children for 40 years.
Together they have provided a loving home for over 100 kids, and they say their goals for these children have always remained the same.
 
“I try so hard to be able to get that door open to where we can work with birth parents and get them rehabilitated to be able to get their kids back,” Sanford said. “The goal of every placement that we get is for re-unification so that the kids can go home.”
 
Both Sanford and Goins say fostering gives you the chance to truly change a child’s future and they both agree there is plenty of support along the way.
 
“There is a huge need in our community for foster families and adoptive families,” Goins said. “There are 44 kids in our community waiting for adoption. The Foster Parents Association here in town is a great support system. There is just so many people out there willing to wrap around you and help.”
 
“It’s a situation that you kind of have to step in to and realize that it’s hard for everybody,” Sanford said. “Not just the birth children, not just the birth parents, it’s hard for the foster parents, but you’re all in there together.”
 
Together in a time where stability is key, and that is exactly what foster homes are able to offer.
 
For anybody interested in learning what it takes to foster a child, the Empowered to Connect Conference will be going on again Saturday April 9th from 9 am to 5 pm at the Region 9 Education Center.
 
CPS will also have an adoption/fostering information meeting Monday April 11th at Faith Baptist Church from 6-7:30 pm. The meeting will be held in a room on the south side of the building (Church) adjacent to the Gymnasium.

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