LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - More foster families for Texas children are always needed, but now a push toward keeping kids close to home is becoming a priority.
"One of the things we are really trying to work on is to provide foster care services to children in the county where they're from. That way they would have fewer disruptions from family, friends, schools," explained Rebecca Allen of A World Foster Agency.
Taking a child out of the only home they know is distressing enough, but a recent statistic revealed that most foster kids in East Texas were being placed far from anything familiar. Having more East Texas families available would prevent this.
Allen went on to say, "Obviously when children leave their homes its for a reason, but that doesn't mean that the family needs to be away from the child. There are relationships there."
Valerie and Jackie McGlothlin of Lufkin began fostering three years ago. They know first hand the vital importance of stability.
"Part of our focus is to give them some structure and certainties: meals, baths, love. They know they are going to get these things here," said Jackie McGlothlin.
Keeping them anchored to where they come from not only adds to their stability, but also keeps familiar bonds strong.
"One of the hopes for most foster children is they can go home to their parents when their parents have shown in they're in a position to be able to be responsible parents. In order for that to happen they still need that bond with their biological parents," said Jackie McGlothlin.
Keeping east Texas kids in East Texas will create more successful fostering situations.
"From familiar circumstances to unfamiliar circumstances... as many of those factors that can be the same the better," added Jackie McGlothlin.
However, the folks who can open their hearts and their homes to these special kids share a mission.
Foster mom Valerie McGlothlin said, "You want the kids to know they're loved wherever they are. That's just one of the most important things. That while they're here that someone loves them and when they leave they will still have that."
If you have an interest in becoming a foster parent to a child from your county, Region 12 will be having an informational meeting next month to address potential foster families. Region 12 covers 12 east Texas counties.