Foster parents give special love - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Foster parents give special love

August 30, 2004

Thomas County-- For Joann Smith, being a foster parent is a family tradition.

"My brother and his wife are doing it," she said. "I'm doing it. I have another sister that was fostering, now she's just adopting, then I got another sister that's gonna start."

Four years ago, after raising her three children, Smith decided to open her home to foster kids. Since then, more than 25 children have left their fingerprints in her heart and all over her home.

"My first ones I had, oh my gosh. When they left, seems like they took part of me with them. I cried, and I cried, and I cried."

In addition to the emotional strain fostering creates, there is also a financial strain. One Smith believes the state should help ease. Foster parents currently receive less than $15.00 per day to care for each child. "It is really not enough to see that these childrens' needs are met."

In the past four years, there has only been one increase in the amount they receive, so it is likely Smith will continue to dip into her own pocket to provide for the five foster children she currently takes care of.

Smith says, "It's worth it, if it wasn't I wouldn't have been doing it for the four year that I have. It's worth it."

Worth providing them with food, clothing, shelter and most importantly the love many of them have never known.


posted at 7:00PM by dave.miller@walb.com