Reading, PA: As our nation was reminded this weekend, we need to embrace our differences and that rings true especially for the children who are waiting in foster care. The Children’s Home of Reading is making an effort to celebrate the diversity and uniqueness in awaiting foster children, by trying to recruit as many foster care families as they can to help find those youth a caring home.
1,708 children in Berks, Lehigh and Northampton Counties entered into the foster care system in 2015 according to the Porchlight Project, 680 youth “aged out” of foster care at age 18 or older into uncertain circumstances and for the third year in a row, the number of children entering foster care has outpaced the number exiting foster care.
Sibling groups, older youth and many children struggling with gender identity are awaiting their chance to make memories with a family. They don’t care if you are single, a couple, gay or lesbian, Hispanic or an older individual; they are just looking for a family to love, nurture and care for them.
“We celebrate diversity of the children at The Children’s Home of Reading, different religions, heritage, backgrounds, we invite anyone who has thought about or considered becoming a foster parent to call us,” said Jill Troutman, VP of Advancement.
“Our foster families are representative of our community”, said Troutman. “They teach and celebrate ethnic differences and work hard to teach tolerance and inclusion within the family unit.”
Sunday, August 20 from 12-6pm. foster care staff will be attending the “Pride in the Park Lehigh Valley”, in Allentown in hopes recruiting some great foster families. They will have a table and will be on hand to answer questions about foster care in hopes of helping some of the foster youth who are awaiting placement.
Many times being in a foster care home, where potential gay and lesbian foster parents have dealt with stigma and discrimination related to their own identity, can be very similar to the stigma a foster youth experiences. This can create an affirming, sensitive and empathic environment for the foster care child. Gay and lesbian foster parents are much more likely to take youth into their homes that have been more difficult to place including LGBTQ youth, older children and large sibling groups.
An information night will be held on Thursday, August 31 from 5-7pm, at the Easton office of The Children’s Home of Reading located at 2000 South 25th Street, to reserve a seat please call 610-478-8266.
A special Spanish speaking information night for potential Hispanic foster care families will be held on Wednesday, September 6, from 5-7pm. at The Children’s Home of Reading, 1010 Centre Ave. Reading. Interested parties may call 610-478-8266 to reserve a seat.
For more information on becoming a foster care parent or learning more about the 15 programs that The Children’s Home of Reading provides in the Greater Lehigh and Berks County, visit www.choreading.org or call 610-478-8266.
Since 1884, The Children’s Home of Reading has responded to the needs of children and families in crisis in Berks County and the surrounding communities. Last year over 1300 children benefitted from the 15 programs that The Children’s Home of Reading provides.
For a full list of services offered in The Children’s Home of Reading’s continuum of care, please visit their website at www.choreading.org.