In this episode we are joined by Teresa Cocker, Chief Program Officer of Norris Inc, and Karen Schlindwein, Vice President of Education and Development of Chosen, Inc.
The need for foster parents continue to rise while more children are coming into foster care. The issue of lack of foster homes goes much deeper than just a lack of interest. Beverly Taylor chats with Teresa Cocker and Karen Schlindwein about the foster care system in SE Wisconsin. Karen Schlindwein says, “The system in and of itself is something that people just tend to hear so many poor and negative things, and it’s not the perfect system. There is no perfect system.”
Astonishingly, eight thousand children are currently in the state’s foster care system with 100 children entering it each month in Milwaukee County! The number of reported cases have gone down during the pandemic, but Cocker and Schlindwein say that’s because mandatory reporters, such as school teachers are not seeing the children on a regular basis because of no or limited in-person schooling due to the pandemic. They expect the numbers to greatly increase once schools are open and evidence of neglect and abuse is seen.
While recruitment efforts have evolved to fit the times, correcting an overwhelmed system will take much more than a digital influence and a new pitch. Teresa says, “Foster parents are like all of us. They can be single, they can be married, they can be partnered. They can rent, they can own. It’s really about having the space in your home and in your heart.”
Join us as we talk about the shortage in foster care, some of the myths and misperceptions and how you can become a foster parent. You will get a good picture of what it takes to become a foster parent and the resources available to walk them through the process. As a matter of fact, you may be just what a foster child needs.