Posted on January 7, 2020
The foster parent need is so widespread that Lucas County Children Services compares it to fighting a wildfire with a bucket of water. Children Services has set a goal of establishing 400 foster homes available locally to meet the growing number of children in its care. Toledo Lucas County Public Library (TLCPL) is joining the agency for a series of informative sessions on becoming a foster parent.
TLCPL will host the program to highlight numerous available resources, such as transportation and financial assistance, and explain the process in a straight-forward way. Meetings take place from January through April at various branches. Angela Bronson, manager at Locke Branch, said the Library is well-suited to help spread this message with its many customers.
With all of our locations, we have accessibility and it’s free.
Locke Branch manager
The Library has continually supported foster parents through programs including schoolwork assistance and self-wellness. Activities such as arts and crafts, cooking and yoga allow them to relax. Bronson said the Library is an open place for the family to go together.
“I’ve noticed with many of these self-wellness classes in the community, you have to pay to be involved. Your neighborhood may also not have a yoga studio or place to take an art course,” Bronson said. “With all of our locations, we have accessibility and it’s free.”
Statewide Challenges, Local Solutions
The number of children in Ohio’s foster system will grow to 20,000 by this year, according to a recent statewide report. Bronson said she is proud to apply her experience as a children’s librarian and now serve as a manager in East Toledo, where the local need is highest. Children Services aims to reunite children with their birth family, if possible. Foster parents can adopt as well.
“Sometimes these children just need a place to go for a little while, to have a family that will welcome them in during a time of turbulence and provide a sense of stability,” Bronson said. “When the birth family is ready to take them back, they can reconnect.”