q & a- jenni from place of hope

Today, everyone is talking about issues like gun control, health care and economic security. While those are important, there is a topic many don’t even realize affects them.

According to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are currently more than 400,000 children living within the American foster care system. That number is staggering, and their education, financial status and job outlook is going to affect all of us—regardless of whether or not we have any involvement with the foster care system.

This article at Relevant Magazine talks more about the statistics and future reality. Read more at here.

The numbers in our area are rising at an alarming rate. In Palm Beach County alone, there are more than 1,000 children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. Many children are being sent to other counties because there simply are not enough licensed foster families here willing to care for these hurting children.

This is a recent news story that aired locally. The story states that the number of children needing a home the past three months have increased 100% since last year.

Click here to view the video.

I hope you don’t feel like I am giving you a sob story or trying to make you feel guilty. That is not my intention! This is just something I never understood until someone opened my eyes to it. I only want to share the facts and raise awareness. Share the need that is so desperately there.

Fostering has changed our lives. It’s not always easy.. in fact it’s heartbreaking in a lot of ways. But, it has also blessed us in more ways than we can count. It has made us feel alive. It has grown our faith. And like I mentioned in this post… I would rather feel… even if sometimes the feelings hurt… than not.

Maybe you have a question or want to learn more? Just leave a comment below.. I would love to help in anyway I can!
Also, if you are a foster parent  or involved in fostering in anyway… I would love to hear your input as well. Please comment below!

One of the people that educated and mentored us while we were taking steps towards becoming foster parents was Jenni from Place of Hope. 

I thought it would be best to have you hear from her… so enjoy this little Q&A.

Tell us a little about yourself?

I have been a foster mom for about ten years. I am married, have three bio kids (age 7, 4, 1). I work part time for Place of Hope. I have a Master’s degree in Human Services. My husband and I were houseparents at Place of Hope for a long time and cared for six teenage boys at a time. We have had a total of twenty seven foster children come through our doors. In the past year we have cared for two different toddlers in our home(one for 8 months and one for three months) and reunified both of them back to their parents.

What inspired you to become involved in fostering?

My love for God and His command to care for the least of these is what compelled me to invest my time, energy and life into children in foster care. I also work training, licensing and supporting other foster parents through Place of Hope. I am passionate about doing everything I can to make a difference for these children who have suffered so much. The need is so intense right now that we literally do not have enough beds in foster homes for children to sleep tonight. The shelters are even full and we have had to send many kids out of the county to other shelters because of the lack of space to put them. We had seven precious children come into foster care yesterday.

What was one of your most memorable experiences as a foster mom?

My most memorable experience is when a boy I fostered for four years sent me a text as an adult thanking me for my investment and expressing his love for me.

What are some things you think most people don’t know about fostering?

Most people don’t know that there is such a desperate need for loving families. They don’t stop and think about the fact that these children’s lives are happening and they will go somewhere to live during this life changing and difficult time in their life. Please put the breaking heart of a child above the fear of your own heart breaking! It will be challenging but it will be worth it. My prayer is that God be glorified and may He draw all precious children to Himself. I want to be a part of what is close to the heart of the God I love and I strongly believe this ministry is that.

What’s the best thing about being a foster mom?

 The best thing about fostering is the love and relationships that you build with the children and with other families who are serving with you. God has taught me so much about Himself and blessed me with the ability to serve and love Him in this way.

How can someone get involved?

You can get involved by calling your local foster care agency. If you are in PBC and would like to work with a faith based agency, please call Place of Hope at 561-775-7195. We are in need of foster homes for all ages of children. There is a child who needs a family to love him and keep him safe and believe in him while his biological family is walking through a very difficult time. You can do it! It is often inconvenient and it is often heart breaking to love and invest so much of yourself and to reunify the child. BUT please think of the other option. Without you, that child may not learn about the love of God for them and about how the safety and love of a family feels. They desperately need you to make the sacrifice to invest in them.
Here’s an images of Jenni and her beautiful family.
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Comments

  1. I am moved in numerous ways just by reading this article about my cousin Jenni and her family. I have been praying about this since I got married and personally know a baby that needs to be adopted. Praying for God to touch this area in my life and can’t wait to see where he leads me! Starting to research this here in Salem, Ohio. Thank you for sharing this! What a blessing it was to me!!! Love you guys!

    Jordan

  2. Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it
    but, I’d like to shoot you an e-mail. I’ve got
    some suggestions for your blog you might be interested
    in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.

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