Community Members Join Forces to Give Back to Foster Kids

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LYNN HAVEN-- The need for foster care in Bay County is an ongoing challenge. Life Management Center's 'Back to School Bash' is one of many event's that helps foster children and parents.

These kids are in the hands of parents who can now call them their own. And as parents try to make the transition into new homes, one event helps them do just that by getting them ready for back to school.

"Transitioning the kids and helping them to adjust and going to new schools and new grades, one less thing we have to worry about is getting school supplies, it really helps," foster parent Marcia Croom said.

Kids not only received new backpacks, but also met new people who are going through similar challenges.

"It helps the kids to socialize with other kids that are in their situation even though mine are younger, just walking around and talking to other foster parents and talking to the kids they're just having a great time," Croom said.

One foster mom created a group called 'Map Swap,' which she says is a way to lend a hand to other foster parents in the community.

"Any foster parent that has a need, whether it's for clothes or a specific furniture item you might need you can ask other foster parents in the area, so it's open to all the counties in our circuit," foster mom Susan Taggard said.

That outreach spans more than 300 children who are placed in foster homes.

"So we're getting to meet face to face, we're getting to support each other," adds Taggard.

As for now, nearly 50 kids in Bay County have foster homes. There are still 78 Bay County kids who have been placed with families outside the county, and one organizer said she would like to bring these kids to families back home.

"For the foster families to come together and have that support, and basically to let them know that we care and that we are here to help with the needs that they have," Florida Baptist Children's Homes sponsor Emily Fidler said.

Life Management officials said their goal is to gain 100 more foster parents by the end of the year.