HOUSTON - In this Positively Houston, we highlight a mom whose family continues to grow and a team of people who support her.
It’s been a problem for decades, many kids in foster care shuffled from one home to another, but one Houston mom is part of a group that's doing something new, as they try to create a sanctuary for kids in foster care.
"My husband and I, we have eight kids total. We actually adopted six children," explains Amanda Boyd who’s the Executive Director of The Sanctuary Foster Care Services agency.
That’s why Boyd co-founded The Sanctuary Foster Care Services non-profit organization because of her first three adopted kids.
"We got them in August of that year and we were their third placement from March to August," Boyd explains. She also noticed, "Two out of the three kids had clothes that did not fit. My daughter had eczema on her hands and feet that had been untreated. My son’s glasses were broken. He hadn’t had them in about a month and he was nearly blind without them," and two had just had birthdays that weren’t in any way celebrated.
"It made me very angry. I was like kiddos can not come from biological homes where they’re being abused and neglected and then placed in foster homes where they’re further abused and neglected," so Boyd says the Sanctuary, which was created last year, does extensive screenings on potential foster families and training to help deal with kids who have endured severe trauma.
The non-profit also offers counseling for the whole family and 24/7 crisis intervention.
"When you have a child that’s having a tantrum in the home, then we actually respond to the home and we help to deescalate that child," Boyd adds.
"Volunteering in the area of support for foster is another thing that the Sanctuary does that is not standard foster care," explains The Sanctuary’s Megan Lagoy.
A recent volunteer effort is collecting bedding for the hundreds of foster children who still don’t have homes and they’re actually sleeping in CPS offices.
"So those kiddos can sleep in new comfortable bedding while they’re waiting for a home to be placed in," says Lagoy.
"These kiddos, when they age out of foster care, if they don’t have a strong attachment, they become the homeless population, the population that is sex trafficked and they also become the prison population if they don’t have people that step in," Boyd explains.
"We see hurt and pain in these kids from hard places and we want to do our part," says Lagoy.
They hope you will too. The agency’s motto is, "Not everyone can foster and adopt, but everyone can do something".
If you would like to mentor, cook a meal for a family or send pajamas to a kiddo, contact The Sanctuary Foster Care Services agency at www.sanctuaryfostercare.org.