Foster and adoptive parents needed - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Foster and adoptive parents needed

March 17, 2004

Lowndes County - The Georgia Department of Human Resources kicked off the "Be A Star" campaign this week to help recruit foster and adoptive families.

Barbara Strickland, a Lowndes County foster mother, hopes her story will help attract more people to this rewarding experience. She loves to tell others how she became a foster parent. "A child needed a place to stay for the holidays, we carried him home with us and after than we've had more than 20 children in our home," said Strickland.

She's taken dozens of children from a battered home to a safe and loving environment. "I have two birth children and the others God sent us because he realized our desire to help, love and nurture children," said Strickland.

The need for foster and adoptive parents in Georgia is critical. "We have about 250 children that Lowndes County has custody of and we only have about 136 bed spaces," said Ginny Boswell, Lowndes County DFACS Director.

When there's not enough homes in one county, children are spread to different areas of the state. "There's a lot of traveling involved, the siblings are split up, and they need to be visiting with their parents so we can try to unify the families," said Boswell.

Strickland says being a foster parent isn't always easy. "Some are not going to be easy to deal with but I believe we can all go through some things with people if we want to help them through," said Strickland.

And the reward of watching children transform into loving and productive adults is worth the hard work.

posted at 1:45 P.M. by ashley.harper@walb.com