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May is Foster Care Awareness Month; Local foster mom shares her story

Posted at 6:26 AM, May 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-03 08:30:08-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — May is Foster Care Awareness Month, a time to recognize that we can each play a part in enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care. A local mom is sharing her story on why she decided to become one.

Lynette Johnson is a Colorado Springs foster mom who has looked after two kids so far. Johnson is a pediatric nurse and says for most of her career she's interacted with kids who have special needs. Now she says two teens with special needs call her mom, and she loves it!

"If you have even that thought in your mind that you should be a foster parent, that's probably telling you that you have that calling and you need to look into it further," Johnson explained.

Johnson says not every story has a happy ending. There are also a lot of challenges foster families face, especially when a child has experienced trauma.

"If you give the child a loving and caring environment, it will be all worth it at the end of the day," she said.

Johnson used the agency, Kids Crossing, to connect with kids who needed homes. Kids Crossing is located in Colorado Springs, and helps parents wishing to be foster parents, to get licensing and training.

"The process to become a foster parent is lengthy and in depth," said Sarah Bailey, a recruitment and retention specialist for the agency. "It is a huge decision and one that takes a lot of time to think about it," Bailey said.

The pandemic has also taken it's toll on the foster care system. Experts say, more kids entered the system during the pandemic, but not enough families were available to take them in, out of fear of spreading COVID-19. This has created a shortage in our state, and across the nation. For more information, click here.

For more information on Kids Crossing, click here.

For more information on deciding to become a foster parent, click here.