SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Lutheran Services Iowa works with foster families, and like a lot of businesses, they’re having to adapt to COVID-19. Many of their training sessions, in-home visits, and family visits are online now.
“I tell people all the time to become a foster parent. It’s not easy, but it’s rewarding,” said foster parent Jill Johnston.
Johnston and her husband are foster parents to three children. They said COVID-19 has changed things.
“Now there’s not people checking in homes as much, but my workers have been great at still checking in and making sure we’re okay,” said Johnston.
Lutheran Services Iowa is no longer allowing in-home visits for biological families so Johnston has turned to technology.
“We are all just on FaceTime, so you have lots of people and one of the kids in my home has siblings, so the siblings are on the call as well,” said Johnston.
Foster parents are also required to attend six hours of yearly training, now also online.
“Those have been really well received because you know people are home right now and they don’t have to get a babysitter. Just stay with the kids, and they can get this training. So I think that’s been helpful for the parents as well and has been going really good,” said Danette Morgan, with Lutheran Services Iowa.
But Lutheran Services Iowa said more foster parents are needed.
“We need those who are willing to bring in older children, even as young as seven is considered an older child, and then siblings groups is another need, and anyone that can take in more than one child is great, and then we have special needs children too,” said Morgan.
“People say all the time I could never do it. I could never get attached, and I say you’re the perfect candidate because that’s the best thing you could do is get attached,” said Johnston.