TAYLOR, Mich. – The need for foster families has never been greater and it is especially impacting communities Downriver.
People there are hoping potential foster parents open up their hearts and their homes.
The number of children stuck in limbo, waiting to find forever homes Downriver is staggering. Experts say in some cities, like Taylor, it’s a crisis that only seems to be getting worse.
Jared and Becky Rodd live in Taylor and have three biological children. They also adopted a 5-year-old girl and then later became foster parents to her younger sister.
“They’re just children who need a family. They need a roof over their heads. They need the things that they haven’t been able to get elsewhere. And, so, if you just look at one time, helping maybe just the one child, just to one family, get back on their feet. Whatever it might be. I think that’s less overwhelming,” Becky Rodd said.
It was not an easy decision to make.
“I think that’s why we put it off for so many years. We felt called to it always and we didn’t want to not say yes. Because we kept running into these situations where we were like it kept bringing us back around to, ‘Well, should we? I think we should do this,’” Becky Rodd said.
They know in their hearts they made the right decision.
“I think so many people oftentimes, either don’t think about it or if they do, it scares them to death. And, you know, they don’t want to take that step that, you know, that leap of faith, like Becky said,” Jared Rodd said. “I don’t want to sugarcoat it, because it’s probably been the most difficult thing you’ve ever done. Make sure, if you’re a couple, that both of you are on the same page.”
Jared and Becky Rodd want other potential families to know that they need to be both on the same page before fostering.
“It’s one of the hardest things we’ve ever done, but for the moment, I’ll go back to our adopted daughter, she came on our own I told Becky, for whatever reason, I don’t know why. I said, ‘I think she’s gonna be with us. I think she’s gonna stay with us.’ And you know, that came true and it’s just been overwhelming to be able to bring these girls into our home,” Jared Rodd said.
In many Downriver communities, the need for foster families has never been greater. Tom Krolicki is with Wolverine Human Services.
“Since COVID, you know started presenting itself to the nation. We’ve seen how it’s affected every aspect of life, it has impacted children in foster care tremendously. Part of that is that we’ve seen a worsening in mental health issues, emotional issues, behavioral issues with our children that are involved in foster care and foster care can be traumatic in of itself. The need for foster parents now is greater than ever,” Krolicki said.
Wolverine Human Services tries to help as many children in the foster system as possible, but the pandemic is making it even more challenging than ever.
“Sometimes the severity of the need of the child requires additional services that aren’t always there. Foster parents are phenomenal. They try very hard. The agencies working with them, including Wolverine, Human Services worked very hard with them to be successful. But sometimes the needs of that child require additional services that aren’t always funded or accessible to those families,” Krolicki said.
Jared and Becky Rodd believe they made the right decision for their family. They know the best is yet to come.
“It makes me cry because she’s just doing so well. Like, she’s off the charts. When she does, they do their testing. And she just is so like, she’s just a delight to be around, and I would never want to miss out on her,” Becky Rodd said.
Click here to learn more about foster care in Michigan.