TUCSON – Arizona is in desperate need of foster families as more children enter the system.
“Being able to have our son is big for me,” Michael, a Tucson foster parent said. “Being a father…Just like my dad.”
Michael and Lela thought they never would have a family after Lela suffered nine miscarriages.
“We wanted children, ” Lela said. “So that’s what led us to adopt our two sons now.”
The couple is also fostering two special needs children. They are part of the over 2,000 kids in foster care in Pima County, but with only 680 licensed foster families, more kids are ending up in group homes.
There is also a shortage statewide, with more than 14,000 kids in foster care and only 3,988 available foster families.
“Some of these kids that are in foster care,” Lela said. “They don’t know what love is yet. So being able to show them what love is and how being a mom is supposed to be.”
Agencies like “A Place to Call Home” are working hard to get more families to foster.
“There’s just a really huge need all the way around for the community to come together and get involved with caring for them,” Leslie Gose, Outreach Coordinator said.
In sharing their story, Michael hopes other families in Arizona step up to foster or just help those in need.
“If you don’t feel like you are able to be a foster parent, there are so many different things that families can do to help foster care,” Gose said. “You can volunteer for organizations that support foster parents.”
For more information on fostering click here.