NewsCovering Colorado

Actions

COVID-19 creating greater need for foster parents in Colorado

Left to right: TJ and Madalyn Graeve sit on a couch inside their home. The couple recently became licensed foster parents.
Posted at 4:04 PM, Jul 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-03 00:04:42-04

SOUTHERN COLORADO — COVID-19 has impacted so many different sectors in Colorado and one that people might not think about is foster care.

While the pandemic has halted so many things, it hasn't stopped people's ability to still become foster parents. News 5 spoke with one family that's trying to help to meet the huge demand of finding kids a safe place to stay.

Madalyn Graeve said, "Although your life has stopped, trauma and abuse and neglect doesn't stop for these kids."

That was the message Madalyn and her husband, TJ Graeve, received from Bethany Christian Services back in March - right as the COVID-19 pandemic was hitting Colorado.

Madalyn said, "That was something that was really cool for us - to read that email and just be spurred on, I guess, to start doing this...ever since I was a little girl, really, I always wanted to adopt."

The goal hasn't just been to grow their family, but to also reach a child in need.

TJ Graeve said, "For us, it's just being able to pour into a kid even if it's just for a short season and just foster them for a few months. If they need a permanent home we would love to be that as well."

The couple shared that they've done all their training virtually and that the plan is to be paired with a child in the next few weeks.

Madalyn said, "There is such a need out there and the rest of the world has kind of stopped."

It's something Cami Haussler, a foster care program manager with Bethany Christian Services, knows firsthand.

Haussler said, "Every day we're turning away referrals for children who need a safe place to stay at an alarming rate...we needed more foster homes before COVID hit and now that COVID is here we've had families who've had to stop providing care because of illness or because of financial situations, so now the need is even greater."

However, she shared that dozens of families have actually stepped up during COVID to become a licensed foster parent.

She said, "Even with all the shutdowns and everything going on if there's people who really want to help and feel they can do this it is definitely possible."

As for the Graeve family, they can't wait to meet their newest addition.

Madalyn said, "You're wanted and loved already and prayed for, and I think it's cool for us to think about like somewhere in the world is our kid."

CLICK HERE if you're interested in becoming a foster parent.