Local foster care organization encourages everyone to consider becoming foster parent

Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 5:13 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HANNIBAL (WGEM) - Have you ever considered becoming a foster parent, even just a passing thought?

If so, one organization in Northeast Missouri wants you to think about it just a bit more.

Gabby Yuraitis said she’d been thinking about fostering for awhile, but the labor and delivery nurse at Hannibal Regional Hospital didn’t think it would just fall into her lap.

“And then one day I was working in the nursery and I had this baby for two days that we nicknamed, Honey, and I told my husband a little bit about her and he said, ‘Well, if you want her, you can do this,” Yuraitis said

So, she and her husband took Honey in under what is called a kinship provider, as they are not yet certified foster parents.

“I mean we loved her like she was our own,” Yuraitis said.

They only had Honey for about three weeks.

“She did get to go with dad, which is the goal in the end, and I am aware of that, and a lot of people say, ‘Oh, that’s so hard and I couldn’t do it,’ but if that’s the hardest thing that comes out of fostering then it’s worth it, and I would do it a thousand things again,” Yuraitis said.

That’s exactly what Coyote Hill Hannibal Area Coordinator Brittany McCaskey said Yuraitis and her husband are planning to do through Coyote Hill in Hannibal, as they get ready to take classes to become certified foster parents.

“What really stood out to me was their eagerness, but also their desire for the children to go back to their families,” McCaskey said.

McCaskey said that 246 children in less than 100 homes are waiting to go back to their families in Marion, Monroe and Ralls Counties.

“Foster Care really kind of changes your norm and so we need families that are willing and able to meet those needs,” McCaskey said.

Needs, like being able provide time for doctor or counseling appointments, patience for behavioral adjustments, space for more than one child so siblings can stay together, and the open mindedness to take in any age.

“Deep down, those kids that are in care, that are teenagers, are dying to have someone that loves them, accepts them, is going to be there for them and so I would encourage everyone to take a teenager,” McCaskey said.

No matter who you take in, both McCaskey and Yuraitis said you don’t have to be a saint, you just have to be willing to love.

There is a foster parent training class starting in August that anyone in Marion, Monroe, and Ralls Counties can reach out to.

McCaskey said if you’re interested in becoming a foster parent, you can fill out a survey on Coyote Hill’s website. Then, you can take classes to become certified. They will be on the four Saturdays in August and September.

If that doesn’t work out, McCaskey said you can contact her to talk about classes next year by email at brittany@coyotehill.org.

Copyright 2022 WGEM. All rights reserved.