Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityNKY non-profit connects foster children with loving families | WKRC
Close Alert

NKY non-profit connects foster children with loving families

Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon
Comment bubble

CRESCENT SPRINGS, Ky. (WKRC) - More than 1,000 children in Northern Kentucky are currently in foster care, and each day, new children enter the system.

As Christmas approaches, the non-profit Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth (SAFY) is working to connect these children with loving families.

“I was in foster care for three years and I was also adopted and I had an awesome foster mom,” recruiter for SAFY of Northern Kentucky Lisa Daniel said. “After I raised my kids and went back to college I decided this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to make sure every child had a wonderful foster home to go to.”

Two and a half years ago, James and Katie Aardema decided to give it a try.

“It’s a process and the system isn’t always working in their favor, so we just want to be there to help get them what they need,” Katie said.

Since then, they’ve taken in eight children, ranging in age from nine months to eight years.

“Some of the things they say or do, you’re shocked they even had to experience that, but that’s why you’re there,” James said. “You’re there to help them and support them and get them through the process until their next step.”

Foster care is temporary and serves as a bridge for these children.

“A lot of our children go back home to their biological families, so they need a place to stay to feel safe and have love while their families get back on their feet,” Daniels said.

One of the biggest need is for foster families to take in teenagers. In Northern Kentucky, 500 teenagers are in foster care, but only 120 foster homes take in teenagers.

There’s also a big need for foster families to take in sibling groups.

“The siblings are either being split up or placed in other areas of Kentucky,” Daniels said. “They’re losing their placement, they’re losing their families, they’re leaving their support, they’re having to switch schools; that kind of stuff.”

The hardest part of the process for the Aardemas is saying goodbye, and the first time they had to do it, Katie cried for two days.

“I asked her, ‘Is this worth it?’ And she said, ‘Absolutely, because now those kids are back home and in a better place and that’s all that matters,’” James said.

“To us, it’s helping these kids feel like they’re welcome and loved when it’s a time for them where they feel very unloved and they feel like they don’t have somewhere they belong,” Katie said.

Comment bubble

If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, you can go here.

Loading ...