The following is a summary of how we began and what we are currently doing:
A little history into what started the desire to get Fostering Foundations going. My husband and I have been doing things with a shelter for the past couple of years such as buying the kids presents from their Christmas lists, taking them frozen yogurt from our store, volunteering etc.
A couple months ago, I found out about a little girl who had just come to the shelter. She was 3 years old and had been raped on several occasions by her uncle. She was so damaged by it that she would take her clothes off and hide under the bed. She needed new pajamas and clothes because she couldn’t control her ability to use the restroom.
As I’m sure you can all imagine, having a daughter this age, I had many sleepless nights trying to figure out how we could help these poor children. I thought about adopting, fostering, anything. I decided I wanted to help as many kids as possible so I came up with some rough ideas about how to help. I later found out about the DHS Pinnacle plan and that beginning the first of the year, children two and under could no longer go to a shelter. Basically, there are thousands of babies two and under taken from their homes every year, and only a few hundred foster homes in the state. DHS will have nowhere to put these babies, so they will be at risk of being left in their dangerous/abusive homes.
Fostering Foundations will partner with advocate groups for foster families throughout OKC and surrounding areas. Our first partner is Youth and Family Services. We provide services, labor, and volunteers to help get homes ready to foster children. We get families who are going through the application process and have a hold up on fostering because their home isn’t ready for children.
Our first project, an amazing family ready to foster had a room with concrete floors and other issues. Fostering Foundations went in and fixed their concrete, laid carpet, scraped and textured the ceilings and painted. They also had a bunk bed they wanted to put the foster children in that didn’t have mattresses, so we bought the mattresses for them.
Our current project is a couple ready to foster who had a hold up during their home inspection. We thought their fence just needed to be replaced, but upon further inspection, there is much more work that needs to be done. A city weather drainage system backs up to their back yard, so there is about a 10 foot drop just a few feet outside their back door. Their retaining wall is collapsing and their yard is slowly starting to cave in due to the dirt washing away. If it is not fixed, it will eventually affect their entire house and foundation. Their little boy cannot even play in his own backyard. They have contacted the City, but were told that there was nothing they could do because their property line is in the middle of the drainage ditch. If this issue is not fixed, they will not be able to foster.
We also just did a special project for a 4 year old foster girl who wanted to go to dance classes more than anything in the world but her foster family couldn’t afford them. With the help of some amazing volunteers, we were able to raise the money in a day to pay for her dance classes through December.
We help potential foster families who have issues with their home that they can’t afford to fix or have time to fix. We get families who are already going through the application process so we can guard against getting taken advantage of. We have a lot of dreams of where this will go, but I can say that in the month and a half since dreaming this up, we have already helped numerous children.
Check out our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/fosteringfoundations