Caring Hearts opens doors to helping children

Savanna Gregg/Burnet Bulletin
Case managers Jessica Rogers (left) and Harley Cooper do their part in helping area foster children find caregivers who are best able to meet their needs, working from the newly established Caring Hearts for Children office in Burnet. Caring Hearts for Children will celebrate its grand opening at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 13 at noon at the office, located at 215 S. Pierce St., Burnet.

 

 

 

 

 

By Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

Burnet and surrounding counties are facing a serious need for foster homes as children are being removed from their home environment for various reasons.

To help make a dent in this ever-growing issue, caseworkers at Caring Hearts for Children in Burnet are assisting in the search for caregivers for the area's displaced children.

“The main reason we have an office in this area is that there is a big need for foster homes here,” said case manager Harley Cooper. “A very small percentage of children who are taken from their homes are able to stay in the area, so our main goal is to keep the kids in the schools and communities they grew up in so they can stay in an area they are used to.”

“One child out of 77 children taken from their homes in Llano County this year was able to stay in the area, and 13 percent of children removed from their homes in Burnet County were able to stay,” added case manager Jessica Rogers.

Though the Burnet branch just recently opened, the Caring Hearts organization has been helping assign families to children in need since 2010. The organization offers three different programs, each suitable to the needs of families and individuals, including foster, foster-to-adopt, and kinship programs.

Caring Hearts case managers strive to make the foster application as simple and easy-to-understand as possible for perspective parents, offering CPR classes free of charge and in-home training to help families who work full-time and are unable to attend classes.

Case managers then review applications and conduct background checks to ensure all parties will be able to help a child meet his or her needs.

“We want to make the process simple, because the need is so huge in the area,” Rogers said. “These children need love and a stable home, and a supportive caregiver.”

“It's important for people to know that these children have experienced something to be here,” Cooper added. “If they are interested in becoming foster parents, they need to realize that there will be challenges, the child may have gone through some trauma, and may need counseling.”

Individuals interested in becoming a foster parent are asked to visit the organization's website, caringheartsforchildren.org, to read more about the programs and fill out an application.

“The impact this makes is really important,” Rogers said. “As case managers, we get to see a lot of the happy side and watch these children who are placed in homes grow and thrive.”

The Caring Hearts Burnet branch assists families and children in the Department of Family and Protective Services Region VII, which covers a total of 30 counties.

Caring Hearts for Children will celebrate its opening on Thursday, Sept. 13, at noon at its Burnet office, which is located on the Burnet Courthouse Square, 215 S. Pierce St.

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