Posted by Pamela Bratton on Mar 26, 2018

Foster Village - Chrystal Smith

Chrystal and her family went on a mission trip in 2013 that would forever change their life.  They took their 3 children, ages 1,9,and 3 to Reynosa.  They wanted to make a difference and became licensed foster parents.  Their first was an 8 month old baby girl, which they later adopted.  They are still in touch with the child's birth mother, who was unable to care for her.  When CPS arrived with this precious baby girl in the middle of the night with no clothes, diapers or anything, they realized how unprepared they were.  As they started networking with other foster parents, they all had the same issues, which is partially why the average foster family quits after just 1 year.  These families feel a lack of support and resources.
Foster Village:
* Shows up
* Brings meals
* Brings supplies
* Provides car seats
* Provides clothing
*Provides support
They became incorporated 2 years ago and has since provided support to 1,000 kids from Georgetown to San Marcos. 
Locktite Storage was the first to provide free space for the supplies and they grew to 5 storage spaces before they located in their newest space on Fitzhugh Road that is a house which has storage and full resources for families.
The types of Foster Families:
* Foster Kin - family.  At times can be a problem because they often have the same types of problems the parents endured.
* Foster families have to be the resource who is prepared to return the kids to their biological families when the time is right.
Region VII/Central Texas (Waco to San Marcos): 70% of the kids are reunited with family.
1,713 children in foster care
933 waiting for adoption
40% aged our of the system before an adoptive family could be identified
70% of the girls who age out of the system are pregnant within 1 year
66% are incarcerated
There are 122 licensed homes in Region VII and a need for up to 300 more homes.
The Resource Center (on Fitzhugh Road) offers:
* Resources/supplies requested by family
*Center can deliver supplies within 24 hours
* Foster Families can bring the kids there to shop for their supplies (clothes, beds, etc)
* Space for the kids to play on the 1 acre of land that is leased
* 1 room is equipped with bunk-beds so that CPS could come here and use as emergency shelter rather than sleep in CPS offices.
* Monthly support groups
* Community group outings
* Parent night out
Did you know that foster child babysitters have to be vetted by CPS that includes background check, fingerprints, etc.?
There are many volunteer opportunities such as sponsorships and donations for fundraisers.
DIAPERS - The club is doing a diaper drive in the month of April.