Ponca City Agency Helps Foster Kids Find Loving Homes
News 6-Amy Avery - May 8, 2022 1:44 pm
PONCA CITY, Oklahoma –
There are almost 7,000 kids across the state in DHS Custody and there’s not enough parents out there to foster, so a Ponca City agency is helping train foster parents to fill the gap.
When Marland’s Place opened in 1928, it served as a home for kids who lost parents in the war.
Foster Parent, Eddie Morris, said she always wanted to open her home to foster kids, because she was once in the system.
Morris spent some time in a foster home when she was little, but she and her siblings were split up into different homes.
She said she doesn’t want to do that to families.
“Because we were split up at the time, there have been repercussions in our lives because of that so it’s always been with the plan of being able to keep siblings together,” said Morris.
Morris says Marland’s Place has offered her a lot of valuable resources over the years.
She fosters kids out of her home, but Marland’s Place also has several on campus and a staff member is on call 24-hours a day.
“If people need a babysitter that is something that we try to align for them. We also have a resource clothing closet,” said Family Specialist Madelin Newcomb.
Morris said the closet has been a big help for her, because she doesn’t know what size the kids will be before she gets them.
The closet is filled with clothes for all seasons and for kids of all ages. They also have diapers, cribs and mattresses, and even luggage.
“A lot of the kiddos that come into care will have their things in trash bags and we want them to be able to have something that’s theirs,” said Newcomb.
There’s nearly 7,000 kids in DHS custody right now and more than 130 of those kids are in Kay County.
Newcomb says 70% of kids in Kay County also spend time in a shelter.
She said you don’t have to live in Ponca City to foster with Marland’s Place.
They place kids in homes all across the state.
“It’s tremendous the way these parents really influence and effect and impact all these kids’ lives, even if it’s just temporary,” said Newcomb.
Newcomb said they try to make the fostering process as easy on parents as possible with monthly trainings and handling paperwork.
“I feel like now stress levels are so high I feel like we are on the tail end of the pandemic but the lasting effects are still here and we’ve really been struggling to find foster parents,” said Newcomb.
Now Marland’s Place offers on campus housing for foster parents and has a staff member on call 24-hours a day.
Morris said fostering kids has changed her life — and she hopes others will step up to show foster kids they matter too.
“Whoever you are you’ve got something to give,” said Morris. “You don’t have to have your home in perfect order, and you don’t have to be the person on television with the perfect home, the perfect family to be able to love these kids. There are so many kids out there who just want someone to love them, and I hear all too often I’m going to get too attached and that’s kind of what the kids need. Who does it hurt more? For you to get a little attached and then for your heart to get hurt or for that child to never have anyone that loves them in their life.”
Marland’s Place also takes donations for families — like toys, diapers, cribs, books, bedding, car seats and clothes, or you can help financially online.
They are also looking for two foster parents to live on campus right now.
You can fill out an application to foster, or donate to their mission HERE.