Central Texas foster family raises awareness during National Reunification Month

Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 1:33 PM CDT
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LORENA, Texas (KWTX) - June is National Reunification Month which focuses on reuniting children with their families after going through tough times, and a Lorena family has been a part of reuniting many children with families through foster care.

“That is at the forefront of your mind always that the goal of foster care is reunification,” Kim Henderson, a foster parent, said.

Henderson said her husband and her have been able to provide a temporary safe place for children for three years with Arrow Child and Family Ministries, a child placement agency in McLennan County.

They have fostered 20 children during that time, adopting two children. She said the other 17 children they fostered were reunited with their biological families. She said a mixture of emotions come with reunification.

“It’s just been temporary and it’s really hard and it’s really wonderful,” she said.

However, she said when choosing to foster children, that is the goal--to provide support, love and resources for children in order to reunite them with their families one day.

“Foster parents don’t have a whole lot of say in what the outcome is,” Henderson said. “We’re just to love on the child while they’re in our home and provide for their needs. It is the mantra of foster care that the goal is reunification.”

Henderson said she is always raising awareness and advocating for more people to volunteer or become foster families.

“We have been a foster family with Arrow for three years now, and they were great in helping us get licensed,” she said. “They offered us courses that we needed, trainings that we needed to take in person, as well as just in our own time on websites.”

In 2022, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services reports that there were 170 removals in McLennan County, 470 in Bell County and around 1600 in the Central Texas region.

“I will shout it from the mountaintops until the day that I die that everybody can do something in foster care,” she said. “You might not be able to be a foster parent, but you can do foster care. Everybody can do something.”

She said there are many ways to help out, especially during the summer when kids are out of school. She said people can get certified to be a babysitter or just provide some meals for foster families. That information can be found on Arrow’s website.