May is National Foster Care month. So instead of meeting a Wednesday's Child this week, Lori Hutchinson tells us about the growing need for foster families.
For seven years now, 13 News has been introducing you to kids in need of adoption. We call them our Wednesday's children.
Before these kids are adopted, though, they stay with foster families. And the need for these families is growing by the day.
In Kansas, there are more than 6,000 kids in foster care. More than 1,700 of them are in northeast Kansas. More than 1,100 in Shawnee County alone. And more than 350 of that number are African American kids.
KCSL Family Resource Rep. Supervisor John Hymon admits it can be intimidating to take in a teenager. "The face of the children doesn't always tell the story. It isn't always pleasant but I believe that people who are intimidated also can handle the need. It's just a matter of us preparing parents properly."
That includes special classes, a 24-hour help line and monetary assistance for the child's main expenses.
Hymon has high hopes for foster care in Shawnee County in 2008.
"We need 200 new families," he said. "This is a great time for you to call us. We'll put you to work."
For more information about becoming a foster family, call John Hymon's direct line at (785) 274-3100 ext. 1410.
You can also visit www.kcsl.org