Posted: May 29, 2012 at 10:52 PM [May 29, 2012]
May is a special month for foster children and foster families in Michigan. National Foster Care Month is a time for private agencies and the Department of Human Services to connect and raise awareness of the approximately 14,000 children in foster care in Michigan. On Saturday, May 19th at Grace Fellowship Church in Ypsilanti, the fellowship hall rang with the laughter of 24 of Washtenaw County’s foster children. The event is called Foster Parent Respite Day and organizers hope it will become annual event. Foster parents were able to drop off the children in their care for three hours and enjoy a day off from their daily work load. Volunteers set up activity stations for the children to enjoy that included face painting, arts and crafts, and outdoor activities. At each station, children could earn a sticker to be exchanged for a prize at the end of the day. The afternoon began with pizza, chips and fruit, followed by station activities. The WII station with dancing and Mario Brother’s games was one of the most popular areas to play at. Children’s ages ranged from 0-14 years old. Activities seemed to appeal to all ages, especially the large kickball game going on outside. The special day neared its end as the kickball players came in for an ice cream sandwich and a last trip to any station they might have missed.
This amazing event was created by Washtenaw Department of Human Services and Hands Across the water. Four additional agencies sent helpers to create a successful day, including: Fostering Futures, Catholic Social Services, Lutheran Social Services and Orchard Children Services. These agencies often work together as a Coalition to address the needs of foster parents. Another function of the Washtenaw Coalition is educating people interested in becoming foster parents. Currently, Michigan is facing a severe shortage of foster parents. If you are interested in helping Michigan’s children by becoming a foster family, please contact Kristen at email@example.com.
This article was written by Kristen McGraw, Recruitment Specialist for Hands Across the Water