IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - There are hundreds of children in Idaho who need a place to call home. A group of BYU-Idaho students wants to raise awareness about how people can help foster kids in eastern Idaho. The group is doing this with a foster care awareness fair that will be held at the Idaho Falls Public Library Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
"A lot of these kids have come from bad situations and this is what they have been taught the fight or flight survivor modes, but one of the most important things these kids needs is the stability of someone to show them that they are loved," said Karen Tornkvist, an Idaho Falls foster parent.
According to Adopt U.S. Kids, there are 1,818 children in foster care in Idaho. About 373 of these children are waiting for families to adopt them. Margaret Kuettel of BYU-I said the number is too high and on Saturday she and four others hope to lower it.
"So each of the booths that are going to be there will provide information to community members about how to get involved like how to become foster parents," said Kuettel.
National non-profits like Home Matters, Together We Rise and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare will be there to answer your questions. Questions like: Who can foster or adopt? How long does the process take? Is financial assistance available?
Tornkvist said feeling overwhelmed about the process is normal, but in the end it is worth it.
"It gave me a sense of that feeling that I have done something good for kids who have needs. I have opened up my heart and home to help them, and at the end of the day it may not be rainbows and unicorns, but it has impacted this child's life," said Tornkvist.