Need for foster parents continues to rise

Foster parents talk about the need and benefits of fostering in Indiana.

Posted: Dec 12, 2018 6:56 PM
Updated: Dec 13, 2018 8:48 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - A warm, safe, and loving environment for their two foster children for a year, that is what Fort Wayne residents Robert Stamper and Eric Westrick have provided.

"I know that we were there for them and giving them a safe place but i have to say for me anyway, I think that they have brought more joy to us than we have given them," said Stamper.

The need for foster parents is on the rise.

"There is such a need, especially in Indiana with the opioid crisis and some of these things, adults are making bad choices without realizing the impact on children," said Stamper.

Recently, Governor Eric Holcomb announced Indiana will expand foster care services to age 23 instead of age 18 to give children better opportunities. Stamper says fostering a child has rewards for both the children and foster parents.

"Even if our kids end up going back to their biological family, I can say that we've made an impact on their life that they'll never forget."

But fostering doesn't come without its challenges.

"A lot of children in foster care have trauma. There's difficult nights of being removed from your biological family. They do miss and they still love their biological family," said Eric Westrick.

The couple says family and community support is crucial.

"Attend any function that you can for foster parents just to be able to talk through issues you're having in your house, to celebrate, " said Westrick.

Westrick and Stomper hope other families can take a leap of faith and provide stability for foster children of all trauma levels.

"The unknown is very scary, but you just work through it. That's one of the great things about phoenix institute, they provide that support for you," said Westrick.

For more information about becoming a foster parent, click here.

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