FLOWER MOUND, TEXAS – September 13, 2018 – Nearly 4,000 children in the DFW area were in foster care last year. Each child had immediate needs for food, clothing and shelter. But as a foster care expert and foster parent who has welcomed more than 55 children into his home and heart, Dr. John DeGarmo knows that most importantly, every child in foster care needs love.
“Children in foster care need someone to step up and love them with all that they have,” Dr. DeGarmo said. “That means it will hurt when children leave your home. My wife and I cry buckets every time a child takes the next step in their journey. But we know we’ve given that child a powerful gift that will change their life.”
As the featured speaker at the Foster from the Heart conference, Dr. DeGarmo will share stories from his foster care experiences and provide insight into the challenges and rewards of fostering. The conference is hosted by Upbring, a nonprofit working to break the cycle of child abuse. Dr. DeGarmo will also provide practical tips for protecting children from cyberbullying, sexual predators, human traffickers and other threats in today’s digital world.
The Foster from the Heart conference will take place from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at Lamb of God Lutheran Church, 1401 Cross Timbers Road in Flower Mound, Texas. Foster and adoptive parents, social workers, counselors, child protection staff and educators will spend the day learning from Dr. DeGarmo and each other. Upbring invites anyone who has a stake in the child welfare system to register for the free event.
Dr. DeGarmo is the founder and director of The Foster Care Institute and Never Too Late, a residential group home for boys in foster care. He is also the author of several books, including The Foster Care Survival Guide and Helping Foster Children in School. An in-demand presenter, Dr. DeGarmo has conducted seminars across the world on foster care, child sex trafficking, adoption and child welfare issues. He also serves as a foster parent coach and consultant to foster care agencies across the country.
Dr. DeGarmo’s television appearances include CNN HLN, The 700 Club and Good Morning America (GMA). In 2016, GMA recognized Dr. DeGarmo and his wife Kelly with its Ultimate Hero Award. In addition to the 55 children they have fostered, the couple’s family includes three biological children and three adopted children. At one time, the DeGarmos had 11 children in foster care, with seven in diapers. Still, Dr. DeGarmo insists he and his wife are not heroes.
“We’re just normal people who have a heart for children. We have so much love to give, and we want to help as many children as we can, children who have never had a loving home,” Dr. DeGarmo said.
Through his personal and professional experience, Dr. DeGarmo has seen first-hand the impact that abuse and neglect have on children. He has made it his life’s work to advocate for children who cannot advocate for themselves.
“I have been blessed to share my insight and experience with foster parents, educators, clinicians, foster care agencies and the general public over the years,” Dr. DeGarmo said. “The key message I want guests at Upbring’s Foster from the Heart conference to take away is this: We must come together as a community and empower each other to help children heal and live healthy, productive lives. Whatever our role in the child welfare system, that is what we are all working toward.”