New foster care videos showcase real stories, aim to recruit more parents

Only 94 foster homes are available for hundreds of youth currently in care.

Traumatic experiences, neglect and abuse lead hundreds of children and teens in Wake County into foster care each year. Currently, more than 400 youth are navigating the system with child welfare staff at their side; however, the need for a safe and caring environment goes beyond courtroom walls.

Today, Wake County is unveiling a series of new videos with experienced foster parents in hopes of enticing more locals to join the village needed to improve the lives of youth in our care.

“Our foster families provide the support and stability that is desperately needed when a child or teen comes into care. These families are critical partners in our effort to strengthen and reunify families,” said Chair Shinica Thomas of the Wake County Board of Commissioners. “That process can take weeks or years, so Wake County leans on foster parents to be that bridge of security and love during a difficult time.”

While hundreds of children and teens need a home while reunification efforts continue, there are only 94 licensed foster homes in our county. That means some youth, most commonly sibling groups and teens, are often housed outside of their community in neighboring counties, resulting in loss of connections such as school, sports teams, friends and family. Research shows that youth who stay in their community and have regular visits with their parents achieve better reunification outcomes.

Families in Focus: Portraits of Foster
Wake County spoke with five foster parents about their experiences in care. They include Emily Cataldi and Christoper Diehl, Ashley Miller and Amy Thomasand Jammie Johnson. Together they all shared the ups and downs of being a foster parent while expressing the impact those in their care have had on them.

Their videos will be used throughout the rest of National Foster Care Month and beyond to end misconceptions about foster care and provide a firsthand conversation for those considering registering.

Benefits of being a foster parent
Foster parents often have a tall order when welcoming youth into their home. They are encouraged to build supportive, caring relationships with children and teens who have experienced significant hardships.

That work doesn’t have to be done alone. Wake County Child Welfare is an oasis of knowledge and resources for foster parents and youth.

Staff work hard to provide rest periods for parents, respite care, childcare and even recurring events where foster parents can meet others in the county doing the same. Wake County also provides a monthly stipend to foster parents to support the developmental and physical needs of youth in their care, which varies based on age:

Child Age Group Standard Board Rate
0–5 $702/month
6–12 $742/month
13 and up $810/month

Those who would like to take the first step to becoming a Wake County foster parent can do so by registering for our foster care information meeting.

Health & Human Services
Press Release