Dear Editor,

As a Williamson County Foster Parent for the past seven years for DCS, and adoptive parent, I see and feel the struggles that foster parents face.

Daycare is a major issue for foster parents. We need more local daycare providers in our area that accept DHS vouchers, and that have openings for foster children that come into custody for working foster parents. This includes daycare slots in the Williamson County schools before and after school program.

We need more employers allowing foster parents time off for meetings, Health Department intake appointments and court appearances. I personally use 90% of my vacation and sick days for these appointments, and yes it’s my choice to do this and I wouldn’t change it.

We need more stricter laws for child abusers! Not a slap on the hand, with 12 months deferment and expungement! We need a child abuse register that shows the person’s photo and updated name changes.

There is a high turnover of foster parents across the state. We need to work to retain our current foster parents, along with recruiting more. We need more resources to help foster parents and our foster children in our area.

In May 2018 we formed the Williamson County Foster & Adoption Care Association (WCFACA) to help support our local foster parents and foster children. We offer support, resources, educational hours and social events for our foster families. With the help of grants from our community we are able to offer foster children in our County emergency clothing allowances, along with providing twin beds to keep large sibling groups together.

Stop saying “you couldn’t do foster care” and start asking “what can I do to help support foster children and foster families in our area”? There are many events you can volunteer at, like our annual Easter Egg Hunt at the Gratitude Ranch, organize a toy drive for our upcoming Christmas Party, collect new suit cases, PJ’s, socks & underwear for Love on Wheels to help them provide a suitcase with the basic necessities to a foster child. All you have to do is reach out to WCFACA and we can help you make a difference in a foster child’s life without fostering!

Julie Sutton, President

Williamson County Foster & Adoption Care Association

(615) 975-6571