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Texas Faces Urgent, Statewide Need for Loving Foster Families

Upbring Press Release - November 11, 2014 1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Foster in Texas program currently screening, verifying potential foster parents

AUSTIN, Texas – Nov. 11, 2014 – Foster In Texas (FIT), a program of Lutheran Social Services of the South (LSS), is actively recruiting potential foster families in an effort to address the urgent statewide need for families capable and willing to foster infants, sibling groups, special needs children and teens.

“Every child deserves a loving home,” said Daniel Elizondo, Foster In Texas’ Statewide Recruitment Director. “Each year, thousands of Texas children need to be placed in homes where they can feel safe, secure and nurtured. Foster parents are the bridge to a more hopeful future.”

There were 66,000 confirmed victims of child abuse in Texas in 2013 and 17,000 were removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. By becoming a foster parent, people are giving kids a second chance at childhood. Being removed from their homes and placed in foster care is a difficult and stressful experience for any child. Foster parents can help these children heal and move on from the life that led them there.

“Fostering and fostering-to-adopt is purely a labor of love that brings immense joy to our family, said Christina and Hrishikesh Karekar, foster parents in Sugar Land. “We learn and give unconditional love, support and care to these wonderful children and get enriched by their light and love in return.”

“We love that we have made a difference in the lives of the children placed with us,” said Garrett Coleman and Tiffany Wagner, foster parents in Katy. “Our goal is to adopt our only placement so far and always has been. If we were lucky enough to get another placement, we would simply love and care for that child until it was time for them to go to their forever home.”

Foster in Texas is highlighting the need for foster families throughout November, which is National Adoption Month.

“The Foster In Texas team is the most highly regarded in the state with a reputation for having the most knowledgeable, effective case workers,” said Kurt Senske, CEO of LSS. “Our program touches the lives of more than 2,000 children in foster care every year through our 14 offices in cities throughout Texas. We recruit the best families in the state and care for them by providing training, support and resources.”

Potential Foster In Texas foster parents are screened through a series of interviews, background checks, training and home visits. Eligibility guidelines include:

  • Must be 21 years of age or older
  • May be single or married (if married, must be for a minimum of two years)
  • May be retired or employed
  • No history of abusing a child or an adult
  • Must be emotionally and physically healthy
  • No criminal history

A home screening/study and safety inspection is conducted before the first placement of a child. The entire verification process takes an average of three months.

For people who can provide a safe and loving home and want to make a difference in the life of a child, additional information about Foster In Texas and becoming a foster parent is available:

  • By Phone at 877-747-8110 (English) or 844-348-1015 (Spanish)
  • Online at www.fosterintexas.org (English) or www.fosterintexas.org/espanol (Spanish)

About Lutheran Social Services of the South

Lutheran Social Services of the South is committed to breaking the cycle of child abuse in Texas through innovative children’s services, including foster care, adoption, education and residential treatment. LSS is a 501(c)(3) faith-based nonprofit organization that currently serves more than 32,000 individuals in need annually, including children, the elderly, the disadvantaged and those affected by disasters in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

Contact: Jennifer Schattle, Vice President Marketing and Communications, Lutheran Social Services :: 512.545.3965 :: [email protected]

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