Lutheran Social Services in Galesburg offer services like assisting prisoners re-enter society and drug treatment and they facilitate foster care, which is need of some extra assistance.
Renee Pelotte with Lutheran Social Services says that they are very much in need of foster parents for children, describing the need is at an all-time low it terms of those for those willing to be foster parents but the need is still there.
Pelotte says while adoption can happen, the ultimate goal of foster care is to have a safe place for the child until they can return home.
She says that almost every child that comes into foster care the end goal is to return them to their home.
This is important for foster families to remember with Pelotte noting that it takes a special individual to bear the emotional weight of fostering a child, “We try to emphasize that, that we want you to love this child, nurture this child care for it as if your own. But know that it might go home, and that’s a very hard thing to do.”
But foster parents like Jordan Knight also know the great reward that being a foster parent can bring.
He and his wife Lindsey had talked about being foster parents before and he was inspired into taking the plunge at a Christian music concert in 2010.
Knight says it can be an emotionally wrenching experience but one that ultimately isn’t about your own needs. “If you’re doing it right, it’s not about you. The child deserves the love they deserve the attention and the affection that every child deserves. So hopefully it’s the right thing when they go home. It’s the right plan for their life, and that love and nurturing will continue when they go home.”
The Knights know both what it’s like to temporarily and permanent care for a child, having had seven placements adopting three.
Right now there’s a real need for foster parents in Galesburg. Pelotte says the process to become a foster parent isn’t overly difficult but just involves steps like a background check and check on physical health.
Contact the Lutheran Social Services for more info on becoming a foster parent or reach out to Knight with questions about his experience.