OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Foster Care and Adoptive Association of Oklahoma (FCAO), in conjunction with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS), will host Foster Care Day at the State Capitol on May 2, 2013 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The featured speaker will be Governor Mary Fallin.
The event is aimed at raising awareness about the urgent need for foster care homes across the state. More than 9,000 children and youth are in foster care because their own families are in crisis and are unable to provide for them.
"Foster parenting is filled with challenges and opportunities," says Lana Freeman, FCAO President. "It can be challenging to parent children with difficult histories. Becoming a foster parent is an opportunity to care for children who benefit greatly from your love and support."
Many young people in foster care 'age-out' of the system when they reach their 18th birthday. Regardless of age, all children in foster care need a meaningful connection to at least one caring adult who becomes a supportive and lasting presence in their lives.
"Whether you are married or single, live in an apartment or a house, have a stay-at-home partner or not, you can be a foster parent," says Freeman. "You don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent."
Freeman is scheduled to speak at the event along with Congressman James Lankford, Senators Harry Coates and Greg Treat, and Representatives Scott Martin and Jason Nelson. Additional speakers include Ed Lake, Director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services; Dr. Barbara Sorrels, Executive Director of the Institute for Childhood Education; and Ben Nockles, Executive Director of the 111 Project.
Numerous community and faith-based partners participating in the event include the 111 Project, Angels Foster Care, Anna's House, Chickasaw Nation, Child S.H.A.R.E., Citizens Caring for Children, DCCCA, Eagle Ridge Institute, Family Hope House, Father's Tie, Friends of Foster Families, Hispanic foster family services, Lilyfield Christian Foster Care, Muscogee Creek Nation, OK Foster Wishes, Oklahoma Families First, Oklahoma Marriage Initiative, One Church One Child, Osage Nation Social Services, Peppers Ranch, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, SAFY (Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth), Shadow Mountain Behavioral Health, St. Francis Therapeutic Foster Care, Sunbeam Family Services, TFI Family Connections, and Wrap Around Tulsa Counseling Services.
To learn more about becoming a foster parent, call 1-800-376-9729 or visit okbridgefamilies.com. For more information about Foster Care Day at the Capitol, contact Holly Morris at (405) 229-9171.