ROANOKE, Va. – Every child deserves to feel safe and loved. But thousands of children in Virginia are waiting for a permanent family to call their own instead of living in foster care.
This is the 4th year for 30 Days of Hope. Every year, 10 News highlights 30 children.
Right now, there are more than 700 children that can be adopted in Virginia.
“Roughly 500 to 600 kids age out of the foster care system each year without a permanent placement meaning they don’t have a family to go home to on Christmas, they don’t have somebody that’s going to teach them how to balance their checkbook or pay their bills,” said Emily Moore, DePaul Community Resources Regional Recruiter. “The outcomes for those kids typically result in homelessness, incarceration, teen pregnancy and that is a statistic we need to change.”
Some of the hardest children to place are teens and they’ve had an increase according to DePaul foster care specialist Sussi Walters.
“You’re going to be able to listen and just provide that space where you can help that teen get out to the world in a few years. When you foster, raise or parent a young child you have time to do some of that therapeutic work period a teen it’s different. You’re going to teach them some good life skills, being able to make good choices in life,” said Walters.
“We have a diverse group of children in foster care that need diverse foster families to meet their needs. We aren’t looking for a cookie cutter family we are just trying to find folks that have a desire to help children heal, that want to understand the needs of these kids and provide them with a safe loving place. Our job is to screen people in not screen people out,” said Moore.
The process is a little different this year. You fill out a form online and DePaul Community Resources will follow up with you referring you to the right person within DePaul or Department of Social Services.