Celebrating foster parents for National Foster Parent Appreciation Month

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 5:17 PM EDT
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) - May is Foster Parent Appreciation Month, a holiday made to recognize those who welcome children into their homes, hearts, and lives. It is also Foster Care Awareness Month.

The Yearout family have fostered around 20 children since 2013, adopting four of the 20 kids they’ve brought into their home.

Caleb Yearout said, “We found out that we couldn’t have children, and so thought, ‘why not help children and build our family that way.’”

They say, although fostering can be difficult at times, ultimately it is rewarding to play such an important role in these children’s lives.

Jennifer Yearout said, “They’re so vulnerable when they, you know, enter the system, and they need love, and they need safety and security and support and fostering allows that opportunity and that honor to get to fulfill that.”

Their adopted children wanted to celebrate Foster Parent Appreciation Month by sharing how they’ve been impacted.

Kaitlyn Yearout said, “They have impacted my life greatly. I used to struggle with self-worth, self-image, and confidence, and being with my foster parents and my adopted parents, has taught me self-love and how to love myself for who I am and how to work through everything I’ve been through.”

Noah James Yearout said, “Being adopted has changed my life. When I first, like, got adopted, I still have my adoption shirt.”

Children’s Home Society of West Virginia is an agency working to help find homes for kids.

One leader with Children’s Home Society says, as of January 2023, there are more than 6,000 kids in West Virginia in need of foster care and adoption. She says Mercer County is in the top three areas in West Virginia most in need of foster parents.

Madeline Hawkins, a home finder for Children’s Home Society said, “Foster care and fostering is something that requires a lot of dedication, a lot of passion, a lot of compassion for children. In the state, in the area, it is definitely a very difficult thing to do, but it’s very rewarding, and it’s very, very needed in the state of West Virginia.”

Hawkins is encouraging anyone with the room in their heart and their home to consider becoming a foster parent, adding if you would like to learn more, contact Children’s Home Society of West Virginia.

The Yearout family has one more thing to say to all the former, current, and future foster parents out there:

Yearout family: “Happy Foster Parent Appreciation Month!”