A Madison County non-profit that helps foster children is now a licensed child placement agency. Kids to Love is one of only 7 of its kind in the state.
We're connecting North Alabama with stories about the good works of the region's non-profit organizations. Kids to Love will now be able to help even more children in the foster care system.
In Alabama, there are more than 6,000 children in foster care, but only 2,300 foster homes. Kids to Love has been supporting foster families for the past 17 years, but now they get to actually take part in licensing foster families and placing children in homes.
“They’re aware of the problems and issues that are out there, and are able to better meet those needs I think just from their experience over the years, and just being in the thick of things," said Brandon Bishop.
Bishop's been a foster parent for more than 20 children over the past six years.
It hasn't always been easy for his family, but Kids to Love has supported his family and many others along the way.
“That’s really my driving factor of helping to, not only provide that but to find and to train and to hold their hands and to say, ‘You know what, this is going to be hard but you don’t have to do this by yourself,’" said Lee Marshall the founder of the non-profit.
Kids to Love has offered training for prospective foster parents for the past five years.
They will now be able to work directly with both the foster children and the foster families. Marshall said it'll help them find a good match for both parties.
“Our workers will know situations and preferences of the family, and then we’ll also be able to know the need that child has and we’ll be able to pick up the phone and say, ‘You know what, we have the perfect family for that child,’” she said.
Bishop said one thing people need to remember is the importance of putting a child's needs first.
“It boils down to love. I mean, you’d be surprised the stories a 12-year-old or 6-year-old would tell you, something they should never experience in their life," Bishop said emotionally. “It’s near and dear to me because kids need someone to love them.”
Kids to Love will be offering the mandatory training class to become a foster parent, in August.
To sign up, click here.