Native American foster families in high demand
Utah Foster Care is in need of foster parents who identify as Native American. In the state of Utah, there are around 122 Native children in state custody and only 19 Native foster homes. There is a need for native homes in every area of the state.
Stephanie Benally, Native American Specialist with Utah Foster Care said studies show Native children do best in Native homes. "It's important for kids to stay culturally connected," she said.
Benally said the number one goal of foster care is the reunification of the children with their parents when the situation improves. "Kids will thrive better when they are placed in a home where they can stay connected through culture, food and the everyday way of living in the home," she said.
The numbers show a great need for Native families to open up their homes to Native children in need of support and care. Benally is trying to get the word out in hopes of recruiting new Native foster families.
Opening your home to foster children can be a difficult but rewarding experience. It will make a big difference in the life of each child. From 0 to 18, there are Native children of all ages in need of foster care. "We're talking about our kids -- Utah Native American kids," Benally said.
Utah Foster Care is a non-profit and covers the entire State of Utah. Utah Foster Care recruits, trains, and support foster parents. They contract with Utah Division of Child and Family Services to find foster care homes for the children that come into state custody.
Benally said the need for native foster families as statewide and encourages anyone who may be interested to take the first step by contacting Utah Foster Care through their website UtahFosterCare.org for a list of basic qualifications. They can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.