Reason#2 - Three reasons people don’t do foster care, and why they’re wrong

Myth #2: I can’t afford to be a foster parent
 
PUEBLO – Adoption through foster care costs little to nothing, yet one of the most common myths of foster care and adoption is, “I cannot afford to be a foster parent,” or “I cannot afford to adopt.”
 
Most adoptions through foster care are free. From the moment a child is placed in the foster care system, funding for their food, clothing, diapers, furniture, school supplies, medical equipment, insurance, haircuts, even funding for college tuition is available to foster parents. Most of the training costs to be a foster parent are also reimbursed. Really and truly, all foster kids need is love.
 
Certified foster parents receive a modest reimbursement for basic living expenses that many times does not account for any recreational or extracurricular activities.
 
“Family outings play a significant role in child development and family bonding. Interactive time, when the parent and child are both engaged in an activity together make the child feel important and loved. Children have an opportunity to model parent’s behavior and when the children see parents setting aside time for what they value, it demonstrates how they can bring balance to their lives,” Pueblo County’s Community Information Manager, Paris Elliott said.  
 
To help foster families have more opportunities for family outings, Pueblo County will be kicking off a foster-family entertainment gift card drive at the annual Historic Courthouse Holiday Lighting Ceremony on Friday, November 17 from 6 – 7 p.m.
 
Pueblo County is hoping to collect $5,000 worth of family entertainment gift cards or gift certificates to places such as the Pueblo Zoo, museum, movies, bowling, the nature center and restaurants.  The drive will end on January 31, 2018.
 
Anyone who wishes to make a donation should contact Paris Elliott, Pueblo County Community Information Manager at 252-8550 or elliottp@pueblocounty.us.
 
The myth that foster care and adoption through foster care is expensive is the second of three top myths or misperceptions the Pueblo County Social Services Foster Unit is trying to dispel in a three-part social media campaign, 3 reasons people don’t do foster care, and why they’re wrong. More information about the third myth of foster care will be revealed in December. The campaign is part of a nine-month foster-family recruitment effort that was launched during the Pueblo Chile & Frijoles Festival and will wrap up after Mother’s Day.
 
In 2016, there were 158 kids placed in the Pueblo County Foster Program. As of October 2017, there were only 37 certified foster homes in Pueblo County.
 
There is high-demand for foster parents for older teens, sibling groups, as well as drug-exposed infants and teens statewide. In Pueblo, there is also a high-demand for foster-parents in the 81004 zip code, which has the highest number of removals and the lowest number of certified foster-homes.  Case workers make every effort to place kids in the same neighborhood as the home they were removed from so they are not also uprooted from their friends, school and culture. 
 
Foster care informational meetings are every second Tuesday of every month. There are two sessions, one from 9 – 11 a.m. and an another in the evening from 5 – 7 p.m.  The next Foster care informational meeting is Tuesday, November 14 on the 7th floor of the Wells Fargo Building downtown at 201 W. 8th Street, Pueblo, CO 81003.
 
To RSVP, or to request more information about the meeting, please call 583-6909.