In Ohio, Recruiters Help Older Kids in Foster Care Find Their Forever Family
Friday, May 5, 2023
Adoption recruiters in Ohio are helping older kids transition out of foster care and begin life with the right family.
Aaron McGregor, a nurse from Mansfield, said a colleague first told her about 15-year-old Samantha in 2020, as she and her husband were beginning the process of applying for a foster care license. McGregor explained that Samantha was born without some of her organs and was placed in foster care as a toddler because of medical neglect. She said Samantha's recruiter, Amy, set up their first meeting.
"Amy was actually the person who brought Samantha to meet me alone for the very first time, and she was just amazing," McGregor said. "She was a wealth of knowledge and information about Samantha."
Federal data show the adoption rate drops significantly for kids older than 9. According to the Dave Thomas Foundation, its Wendy's Wonderful Kids Program is responsible for more than 13,000 successful adoptions across the United States and Canada.
McGregor said her home health skills as a nurse have helped eased the transition for Samantha.
"Day to day, she has a lot of medical needs, but we already have a lot of experience with that, so we do receive help with nursing services and things like that," McGregor said. "And me being a nurse definitely helps the situation."
McGregor advised anyone interested in becoming a foster parent to reach out to local agencies, do their research, and keep an open heart and mind.
"I'm not saying it doesn't have its challenges, but it is very rewarding," McGregor said. "And just seeing the difference that you can make in the life of a child, I just always, always say that they have been such a blessing to us more so than I feel like we could ever be to them."
In 2022, more than 200,000 children nationwide entered the U.S. foster-care system, most older than 9.
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