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Search on for More Foster Parents as TFI Family Services Recogni - KOAM TV 7

Search on for More Foster Parents as TFI Family Services Recognizes Social Workers During March

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March means social worker appreciation at TFI Family Services in Pittsburg and a time when they need help recruiting more foster parents.

    There are six thousand five hundred foster kids in Kansas.

     In Cherokee and Crawford counties two hundred fifty kids are in foster care meaning big demand for good homes.

The Carrells are a couple that knows what it takes to be good foster parents as they’ve done it for eighteen years.

Debra Carrell says, "When you do foster care you live in a glass house."

Monica Broadwell, a TFI Family Services foster care worker is at the Carrell house. She does a twice monthly check of their home under the watchful eye of security cameras they installed themselves.  

Medicines must be kept under lock and key. And right now, knives kept in a closet because one foster child made threats.

The Carrells often take in at- risk kids. 

Debra says one reason is her background. "I have a masters in special education with a focus in behavior disorders. He (her husband Everett)  also works at Elm Acres. He does maintenance there and knows how to monitor kids. It keeps kids safe and keeps us safe. And that’s our role keeping kids safe."

And letting them be kids but with consequences like bagging up clothes the parents had to pick up off the floor. Their kids do chores to learn responsibility.

 Everett says people often feel called to serve like police or firefighters and this is what he can do. He says, "It’s a community service."

Debra adds, "It’s the right thing to do. We have kids and families that are hurting." 

The Carrell's have seen two hundred and fifty  kids come through their home. Some for a few days and  others for several years but they say you don't need Deb's level of care to be a foster parents.

Debra says, "Being consistent. Being there every day  and caring about kids.  It’s more than love. You can’t just love ‘em.  You have to be support them in the good and in the bad."

Everett adds,  "You don't want to be their friend. You have to be a parents."

Monica says the goal with foster families is proximity. She says,  "We try to help keep  the kids closer to town.  Closer to the their county, their schools just so they can maintain their connections."

Debra says her greatest reward is helping kids be successful back in their own homes. "Our job is to support those kids and that family until they  get on their feet, until they heal."

     If you would  consider becoming a foster parent contact TFI at 1-800-279-9914.

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