There are currently more than 11,000 Oklahoma children in foster care. Those children, the families who are currently providing homes for them and the need for even more families to step forward will be the focus on Tuesday, May 6, during “Foster Care Day” at the state Capitol, which will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees are urged to wear blue or a blue ribbon to help draw attention to foster care.
“We have several members of the Senate who have been involved in foster care first-hand. They know the challenges faced by foster families and for the children in need of a home,” said Treat, R-Edmond. “We want to help more people understand the challenges and the rewards of opening their hearts and homes to children who are in tremendous need of a stable, loving environment.”
The event will be held on the Second Floor Rotunda and in the Governor’s Blue Room of the Capitol, with information booths from various service providing agencies and advocates from throughout state. The event is aimed at helping educate elected officials and the public about foster care in Oklahoma.
Lana Freeman is president of the Foster Care and Adoptive Association of Oklahoma, and she urges all families, child welfare workers, foster care advocates and others involved in foster care issues to attend Tuesday’s event. She explained that even though removing the child from a home is sometimes necessary, it is a difficult, emotional situation.
“It can be traumatizing. Some children are placed in shelters, because there are not enough foster homes. Siblings are sometimes split up. They are not only traumatized by the initial situation but by everything that follows,” Freeman said. “We particularly need more foster families who are willing to take children with special needs and older children.”