Foster Parents – Unsung Heroes
Foster Parents are a rare spot of hope for kids whose home lives are less than supportive and nurturing. There are as many reasons for children to be placed in foster parent situations as there are children who need that refuge. Ok, so maybe that is a bit of hyperbole, but there are tens of thousands of kids across the country who need a sanctuary with loving, caring foster parents. Nowhere is that need felt more than in Las Vegas. That’s why we felt the need to introduce you to a new group of heroes just getting established in the Las Vegas Valley.
We asked Elizabeth Lance, Las Vegas Foster Care Recruiter for the National Youth Advocate Program to detail what the organization is all about:
The National Youth Advocate Program has a non-negotiable commitment to do what is best for children, youth, and their families. The NYAP has an abiding faith that every person has an innate ability to learn, grow and develop. We provide opportunities and resources to youth and families through our innovative programs and services. We strongly support and offer guidance to our dedicated foster parents. Our group works hard to build community support and advocate with public agencies and officials on behalf of youth and families.
Foster Parents Are In Demand
Foster Parents are the one resource kids from bad home situations need that can’t be bought or donated from concerned communities. Becoming a foster parent is a heroic action, plain and simple. It takes an open heart, an understanding mind, and support from the entire community. Not everyone is in a position to care for and nurture a stranger’s child. However, there is no substitute for these unsung heroes. This is where Foster Parent recruiters like Elizabeth become a real secret weapon. A person or couple may have the desire and the ability to foster children but where do they start?
An organization like The National Youth Advocate Program fills that critical need. Finding, educating, and supporting potential Foster Parents, in addition to supporting the public agencies tasked with this very important job. They don’t stop there. The prayer is that the birth parents or guardians of these kids will use the opportunity to correct and improve the situations that led to the need for foster care. Enabling them to return to caring for and supporting these deserving children. In order to do that, the foster parent steps in temporarily to give them that time to improve and people like Elizabeth are right there to help.
How You Can Get Involved
We could write another full blog on what you can do to help foster parents and the children they care for. For instance, The Beacon Center has plans to help launch and serve as a drop-off point for a Personal Care Items drive in the near future. But what they REALLY need are Foster Parents. The needle in a haystack, so to speak. A resource more precious than gold actually. You can’t buy a foster parent. You have to find candidates, vet them, train them and support them through the entire process. That’s just the start, continual training, support, and advocacy continues until the day a child is returned to the biological family home. So, as you can see, the need is great and multi-faceted.
To get you started here is the contact information for Elizabeth and the NYAP, along with some suggestions for how you can get involved in this noble mission:
Foster Care Recruiter
National Youth Advocate Program, Inc.
500 N. Rainbow Blvd. Suite 300
Las Vegas Nevada 89107
O: (702) 221-1961
C: (725) 230-0141
Caring for People – Connecting Communities – Promoting Peace