Foster children need you


As we have realized another Christmas holiday and entered the new year, we cannot let ourselves forget those who don't have the same opportunities so many of us enjoy.

It is easy to make a small contribution to Toys for Tots or to take a name off of the tree at one of the local banks and buy a gift for a child we don't even know. While these are honorable deeds and should be continued; there is a greater need out there that many don't even realize.

I am referring to foster care. In Lake County alone, we are faced with over 300 abused and neglected kids throughout the year, with fewer than 60 families to offer them the safety and comfort that every child should be guaranteed.

There are many forms of foster care, from emergency shelter for abused kids, to foster care that could lead to adoption, and everything in between. Many of us have the ability to provide this care, yet it can appear to be an intimidating process.

While many of these kids have been exposed to treatment that animals should never even experience, much of the time they simply need the love that your home can offer. They are kids of all ages, from newborn to 18 years of age and their needs are no different than your own kids or the kids next door.

There is a tremendous amount of support and training for foster parents through the different foster care agencies and through the County's Social Services. Please do not allow your fear of the unknown to prevent you from at least getting information from one of the agencies listed below.

Follow your heart in making the difference in a child's life. For them, it could be Christmas year around.

If you're interested in helping, contact one of the following agencies:

- Lake County Department of Social Services, 926 S. Forbes St., Lakeport, CA 95453; telephone 262-0235.

- Families United Inc., 1210 S. Main St., Lakeport, CA 95453; telephone 263-9553.

- Environmental Alternatives Foster Care Agency, 912 S. Main St., Lakeport, CA 95453; telephone 263-5501.

- Redwood Childrens Services, 320 First St., Lakeport, CA 95453; telephone 263-0372.


Rob Brown and his wife, Kim, have been foster parents since 2005. He serves as District 5 supervisor.