WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) — Saturday, there was a foster caregiver appreciation event at North Mar Church in Warren to recognize the work they do for the community.
“Fostering is not an easy thing to do, it takes a lot of heart. It takes a lot of empathy. It takes a lot of understanding and not just for our kids, but for their biological families,” said community liaison Brooklynn Bennett.
She said it takes a special type of person, like Carrie Braun, to foster children. Braun is going on five years as a foster caregiver.
She was inspired to get involved by her late mother, who had always wanted to foster but lacked the means to do it.
“When I got into fostering, the concept was in memory of my mom to do what she wanted to do: give back to the community in that way,” Braun said.
She said the most rewarding part about fostering is knowing that she helped a child when they needed her the most.
Deedee Prezioso with Trumbull County Children Services said it’s important to recognize, support and celebrate the work that foster families do.
“Foster caregivers give our kids who have had trauma a safe loving home that allows them to start heal from their trauma,” Prezioso said.
While there is always a need for foster caregivers, there is especially a need for families willing to foster older kids and sibling groups.
Bennett said they have about 125 kids in care right now and only about 70 foster families.
“The important thing for our community to realize is that those 70 foster families only have so many beds in their homes. That’s a great amount of foster families, it’s wonderful, but there’s always a need for more,” Bennett said.
The event gave community members a chance to talk with foster parents to learn what fostering is like. It also provided a positive outlet for foster kids.
“As a foster kid you go through so much sometimes, that it’s important to just have a day where you’re having fun and you’re just happy and you feel surrounded by love,” Bennett said.