ALAMOSA — It is no secret that the state of Colorado has a shortage of foster families.
You’ve seen dozens of stories outlining the projected need for foster parents in the next few years. Our community, here in the San Luis Valley, is no exception to this need.
In fact, the need is so great, that a study completed by the El Pomar Foundation in 2015 found that of the 44 children in foster care in the San Luis Valley at that time, 42 of them were placed in foster homes outside of the valley.
Around this same time, the state of Colorado contacted a non-profit foster care agency called Hope & Home when one little girl needed an adoptive home.
The family that had been identified as her forever home was in the San Luis Valley, but the limited resources of government agencies presented a barrier to the family actually becoming licensed as foster parents. When the state heard about this, they called Hope & Home to step in and license this family. Since then, Hope & Home has become a presence in the San Luis Valley and continues to license more families to meet this ongoing need.
As a nondenominational Christian charity, Hope and Home trains and actively supports foster families all across the Front Range and in the San Luis Valley who feel compelled by Christ’s command to take care of “the least of these.” Abused and neglected children, who have been removed from their birth homes, get a stable and nurturing family to live with until it’s safe to go home again, or — when that safety isn’t possible — a family to give them a “forever home” through adoption.
So what does that mean for the families and children who are involved in the foster care system in the valley? It is right there in the name: Hope. Hope for children, hope for families, and hope for a better community. A place where children are nurtured and truly cared for in their own communities instead of ending up in a city that is miles away from where they lived. A place where the foster parents who give these children a home can do so with a level of support and training not found anywhere else.
To Hope & Home foster parents, nurturing these children is a calling—missional work done right here in our community. Their goal is to help do what’s best for children. Hope & Home is committed to creating permanence for children through strong, healthy families, whether they return to their birth parents or are adopted by their foster family. We believe that children deserve to be raised in families, not just in a house or a home. Being part of this mission in our community has meant bringing families to children who just need a soft place to land in a moment of crisis.
Hope & Home has been able to work with the five counties in the valley to assist in finding homes for children in need. Over the last four years in the San Luis Valley, Hope & Home has had 23 foster families open their doors to 72 children with 16 children finding their forever home through adoption. Each child comes through our doors with a name, a face, and a story. A story that no one should ever have to endure. A story that you can help write in a different direction. Whether it be as a frontline foster family or someone who is a support, you can help children in foster care. For more on information about Hope & Home and how to get involved, stop by 500 State Ave. in Alamosa (office located inside the revitalize medical spa).
To visit with us, go to hopeandhome.org or call 719-575-9887.
Danielle Price is a Home Supervisor for Hope & Home. She has her master’s degree in Social Work, and has had the honor of being a part of Hope & Home for four years and loves her job helping children and families in foster care in her community.