Homes for foster children: new programs aim to boost permanent placement

2 years 1 week 3 days ago Tuesday, October 10 2017 Oct 10, 2017 Tuesday, October 10, 2017 2:59:00 PM CDT October 10, 2017 in News
By: Jasmine Ramirez, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA – More than 1,400 children in mid-Missouri are in foster care. The Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption Association is using new programs to place children in permanent homes.

Private investigators and social workers are involved in what's called the Extreme Recruitment program, and they work to locate family members. Next, they try to match each child with a relative who’s emotionally and logistically prepared to welcome them into their home.

CMFCAA Program Coordinator Sue Engelage said the program’s goal is to optimize children’s chances at finding a permanent home. Extreme Recruitment’s goal is to match 70 percent of children with an adoptive family.

Kelly Shultz and her husband began as foster parents. Since the couple began fostering 12 years ago, they have welcomed seventeen foster children, ranging from 6 days old to 22 years old.

“I’ve gotten to be a football mom, dance mom and I have gotten to be in the hospital with a brand new baby. I have gotten a lot of experiences,” Shultz said.

CMFCAA hopes to use Extreme Recruitment and the 30 Days to Family program to boost the number of permanent placements. 30 days to Family works to find at least 80 relatives in each case and identify at least one relative prepared to take in the child within 30 days.

Engelage said a child’s chances for permanent adoption lower as they grow older. Often the child “ages out” of the system and is never adopted. The average foster child age is 9 years old.

Engelage said the foster process is stressful, yet rewarding.

“Once that kid comes up to you and says, ‘Hey mom’ or ‘Hey, you helped change my life,’ it’s really worth it,” she said.

The real goal of fostering is to, “stabilize families and get kids back home,” Shultz said.

She said it is sad when a foster child leaves.

“The stress of parenting is hard on every couple, but add to the stresses of the system and having kids come into and leave your life,” Shultz said.

But, she said, it is also exciting to watch children reconnect with their biological families and return home. The sacrifice is part of the process, she said.

CMFCAA gives foster and adoptive parents the chance to relieve their stress. The Respite Program provides parents a few child-free hours to run errands or even go on a date while their children play games, eat snacks, go swimming and watch movies.

Shultz said it is great because it provides her kids a community of children with life experiences similar to theirs. Her children can connect with peers at respite and talk about topics they may not have in common with friends at school.

It is extremely important to minimize the number of disruptions in a child’s life, Shultz said. Moving homes, she said, can be extremely stressful.

“Coming into a complete stranger’s home is trauma,” Shultz said. “No matter how nice my house is and no matter how we eat dinner all together and read books and do homework,”

To lower disruptions, many foster parents choose to adopt foster children if the child has no chance of returning to their original home. The Shultz’s have adopted three girls.

Shultz said each foster situation is different. Some children stay at her home for short periods while others stay for years. She said in some cases children leave her house and she and her husband never hear from them again. Others stay in touch.

“Some of my kids reconnect with us because they want tradition, they want stability, they want holidays and celebrations,” Shultz said. “They come back into our lives because they really want a grandparent.”

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY — Attorney General Eric Schmitt is set to host four senior safety presentations in October. The presentations,... More >>
8 hours ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 8:43:00 PM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - More than 600 people and 11 sponsors gathered in Cosmo Park for the annual Walk to End Alzheimer's... More >>
11 hours ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 4:53:00 PM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — David Cover, a co-pastor at The Crossing, addressed the controversy over last week's sermon by fellow co-paster... More >>
12 hours ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 4:03:00 PM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia police arrested a man on multiple charges after the shooting of a 13-year-old boy Saturday night. ... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 1:15:00 PM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - One person was transported to the hospital in relation to a weapons offense Sunday morning, according to... More >>
17 hours ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 11:27:00 AM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Children in St. Louis have been the victim of homicides at 10 times the national rate... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 9:34:54 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he is reversing his plan to hold the next Group of Seven world... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 9:19:49 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Police were seen searching the area near the scene of a crash Saturday afternoon. Police responded to... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 8:31:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Community members came together Saturday for a Walk and Roll-A-Thon in recognition of Disability Employment Awareness Month. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 5:11:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Demonstrators rallied at Speakers Circle on Saturday for the first ever National Period Day. Organizers said they... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 3:47:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Community members got the chance to challenge Columbia police officers in their favorite video games during the department's... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 3:41:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Grassroots organizations are working across Missouri to persuade gun-related business owners to join efforts to limit... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 3:37:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
SALINE COUNTY — Three Saline County children abducted in 2017 were found in Arlington, Texas on Thursday, according to the... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 2:15:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - One Lincoln man is dead following a crash between a motorcycle and a tractor-trailer Friday night on... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 1:19:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Water and Light department said it believes all power has been restored in Columbia. About... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 10:05:00 AM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
MARSHALL - The suspect in a pair of shootings in early October has been caught out of state, police announced... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 9:10:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
CALIFORNIA - A man heard his sentence on Friday after killing a 20-year-old three years ago for drunk driving. ... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 6:31:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Below are scores from football games around mid-Missouri. Final scores are in bold. ... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 6:06:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Friday Night Fever
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 57°
5am 57°
6am 56°
7am 55°
8am 55°