Program aims to bring foster kids back to Racine County

Posted at 7:31 PM, May 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-02 20:31:08-04

The Racine County Foster Care Program is hosting a year-long campaign for the entire count called, "Bring Our Kids Back Home."

Foster Care Recruitment and Retention Specialist Marie Hargrove says placing Racine foster kids in other counties makes the whole process longer. 

There are currently 350 children in the Racine County Foster Care System. Out of the 350, 92 kids have had to be placed in homes outside of Racine County. Putting more distance between the child and their community, family, familiar surroundings takes a toll on them says Hargrove. 

It's usually harder for families to find time to see their children, sometimes siblings have to be split up, caseworkers have to work twice as hard if their children are spread across counties.

The whole process becomes more complicated says Hargrove. But if more foster homes were accessible in Racine, the process becomes less taxing. 

"It may be only once a month that [the children get to] see their parents as opposed to seeing them once or twice a week if they are in county," said Hargrove. 

Stephanie Mayfield became a foster mom to five children after she learned that they might have to slit up. She says she was convinced to buy a big house for her and all the kids, so they could live together.

"These kids have a forever home while they're here," she said. "Something to call their own. God is awesome."

Mayfield gets help from her family and says raising five kids has been a rewarding challenge. While fostering isn't easy, she says everybody should give it some thought because the children are in need and families must answer the call.