Coyote Hill Hosts Information Meeting to Fill the Fostering Gap | Central Missouri News
COLOMBIA – Coyote Hill, an organization that specializes in fostering children, held an information meeting on Tuesday evening to share how the community can get involved in foster care.
In Boone County, there are currently 338 foster children, but only 78 licensed homes.
Paige Douce, director of family advocacy for Coyote Hill, said there are many ways to get involved to help.
“It could be plugging in as a foster parent and bringing the kids into their homes on a longer term,” Douce said, “but we’re also going to talk about the respite providers, and that really provides some help to short term for the host families.”
Douce also said there are more ways to get involved than fostering a child.
“Just talk about different volunteer opportunities,” Douce said. “Even if you’re not an adoptive parent, there’s a place for all of us so that we can all support the foster world around us.”
In Missouri, families must have a license to foster children. Generally, the process of obtaining this license takes about four months.
Licensed families can accommodate up to six children, but are generally unable to accommodate that many.
Douce said that when there were not enough families to take in, many children were sent elsewhere outside the county, which put a strain on the children.
“When our children have to move out of county or area, it’s just another long term impact on them of being in an unfamiliar place and losing another piece of their history and their history,” Douce said.
An adoptive mother, Kate Murray, says fostering children is an honoring experience.
“It’s also the best thing in the world as a rewarding job. Because you’re pushed to your emotional limits. The highest heights you’ve ever felt, the happiest you’ve ever felt.
Murray says finding out she can adopt her current adopted child is just as great as finding out she was pregnant.
“It’s the same feeling I had when I found out I was pregnant. Surreal, surreal. She can stay forever”
Douce said anything the community can do matters.
“There’s nothing too small,” Douce said.
If you would like to help, you can visit coyotehill.org