Raleigh, N.C. — About 11,000 children in North Carolina live in foster care. As the population grows, so does the need for foster parents who can provide loving and stable homes.
It’s up to the Department of Social Services in each county to find the right foster parents for each child. Methodist Home for Children in Raleigh says it sees 80 to 90 children a day and needs more people to help.
Michael and Sylvia Basham already had kids – two teenagers who would soon leave home and a 20-something who had already left. Their empty nest was within grasp. But the couple decided to add more children to their home and become foster parents.
“Life was pretty easy. We had the Staples ‘easy’ button. This is good. We’re almost done. But that wasn’t what we were called to do,” Sylvia Basham said. “Our faith definitely came into play. It was almost like God said with our house, either fill it up or sell it. It’s kind of too big for just the few of you.”
In the summer of 2014, two sisters moved in with the couple. Then, that November, a twin brother. WRAL News cannot give their names, show their faces or say much about their past, but one of the girl’s – age 11 – said she feels loved by the Bashams.
“I really haven’t had a family love me like they have,” she said, adding that she calls them mom and dad because the Bashams are adopting the siblings.
“All I can say is when I read the overview of those three kids, I knew those were mine,” Michael Basham said.
The Methodist Home for Children is a child-placement agency for social services in several counties. Some, like the Bashams, end up adopting their foster kids. Others, like Jeffie Abernathy, provide them a safe place to go for a time. She, too, already had kids.
“I need to have a purpose. We all have a purpose,” she said. “I feel if I can give back to these children, I can make a difference in maybe a child’s life.”
Those who become foster parents are compensated. The rates vary by agency. Foster parents must be licensed and undergo 30 hours of training.
,About 11,000 children in North Carolina live in foster care. As the population grows, so does the need for foster parents who can provide loving and stable homes.
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