Kids need homes always, but especially now

Whether orchestrated or pure luck, the timing of the new box office movie “Instant Family” starring Mark Wahlberg couldn’t have been better.

The movie’s release during November’s National Adoption Month draws attention to the need for both adoptive and foster parents this month (and always, really), and Trumbull County Children Services recently seized upon that important opportunity.

Hoping to attract attention to the need for foster parents, local children services officials this month hosted a special caregivers night at Regal Cinema in Niles, where the recently released comedy-drama was showing.

The movie is a true story by writer / director Sean Anders and his wife, Beth, whose lives were changed in 2012 when they brought a sibling group of three foster children into their home. In 2013, they officially went through the adoption process.

“This movie shows their real-life experiences and the ins-and-outs of their adventure of having foster children. We hope the movie has a push for the need for foster care,” said Stacy Ferencik, Trumbull County’s community liaison / recruitment specialist.

This month’s movie theatre meet-and-greet event was coordinated to teach prospective foster parents about the program and process. About 50 Trumbull County residents interested in fostering and adopting attended the event and movie screening.

Nationwide, thousands of children are in need of permanent families. In Ohio, 21.6 percent of the youth in foster care are ages 15-17 and are at risk of aging out of the system without fundamental emotional, legal, and / or financial support.

We believe that every child, no matter how old, deserves a permanent home and needs a supportive family. Sadly, many teens lose hope every day that caring adults might actually want them.

During National Adoption Month this year, Northeast Ohio Adoption Service is hoping to draw attention to the older foster youth. Officials there point out that while not everyone may be called to adopt, every person can play a role in supporting these young children and teens through temporarily fostering, volunteering, becoming a mentor, donating financially, becoming a local advocate and, of course, simply becoming educated and sharing that knowledge with others about this great need.

Especially, this time of year — as we all gathered last week in thanksgiving, and now head into the holiday season known for giving — isn’t this the most logical time to slow down our pace and think about sharing our time with local kids that don’t have a place to call home?

For information about becoming a foster or adoptive parent to a child, sibling group or teen, visit www.NOAS.com, or call 330-856-5582 Ext. 126.

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