WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Foster parents and child welfare providers were able to visit with organizations dedicated to assisting them in these very difficult times at a foster care fair at the Heritage Church.
Especially after the year they had with COVID, folks with 2Ingage, the hosts for the event said it was important to get back out there and show foster families what resources are available to help them better serve their families.
Derek Carter, foster parent and the Worship & Orphan Care Pastor at Heritage Church said the resources fair hosted in partnership with 2Ingage is essential.
“When you get those calls in the night you don’t know what these children need upfront,” Carter said. “To have this all in one area where you can go as a foster parent and go and ask questions is a big deal because it just provides a support network for people to be empowered to serve the kids in their home because every kid comes to you with different needs.”
Having been a foster parent since 2007, Carter understands first-hand the challenges foster parents and child welfare workers faced these past couple of years.
“One of our kids had ECI early childhood come in and that had to be done by video which is very challenging to try and do therapies for kids by video,” Carter said. “This would be a good opportunity to connect face-to-face with some of the agencies that you’ve been having by video all this time.”
Cyndi Horton with 2Ingage said their sole purpose is to help bring awareness to the needs of foster parents, counselors and just anyone in the community that can reduce the number of children entering the child welfare system.
“We want to support parents, we want to be there to support foster parents and really we want to support the community overall, giving them what they need to be stronger so that tomorrow our children have a better future,” Horton said.
At the fair, the first of its kind in Texoma, there were organizations such as Child Care Partners, Helen Farabee, Dad’s Workshop, First Care, the Boys and Girls Club and many more.
Horton said having all these resources at their fingertips in one room is a huge advantage.
“All of these folks were out there in the community serving families, hitting that pavement, going door to door and we want the area to know, the community to know that these problems still exist and these community resources are still out there ready to help them and serve them,” Horton said.
Horton and Carter said they have been losing foster parents at a rapid rate and they hope events like this help renew and strengthen relationships and show foster parents they are there and they care.
Both Carter and Horton said there is still a great need for foster parents in this area and specifically for sibling groups and teens.
To find out how you can foster, follow this link.