DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR
BURNET — One of the biggest challenges facing children in foster care and the people who work with them is distance. With more children from the Highland Lakes in foster care than foster families in the area to support them, many of the youth end up placed in other counties.
“Their lives are already disrupted quite a bit just by being placed in foster care. Moving them out of the area, out of their school and away from friends just adds to that,” said Burnet County Attorney Eddie Arredondo.
Last year, the Marble Falls Daybreak Rotary Club, of which Arredondo is a member, began an initiative to encourage more Highland Lakes families to consider fostering or adopting children.
Last November, the club hosted an adoption day, which celebrated several families adopting children. This year, Arredondo said, the club is putting a little more focus on foster children and families.
The club is hosting a Foster Family Fun Fest (4F for short) on May 17 at Hidden Falls Adventure Park in Smithwick. Though the event is closed to the public, Arredondo said he hopes the community understands the important roles foster families provide.
“They make a difference in kids’ lives like nobody else,” he said.
The event is the club’s way of giving foster kids a chance to enjoy lots of fun activities but also see how much the community cares about them.
“It’s also our way of showing the foster families that we’re there to support them,” he added.
While 4F is open only for the foster kids and families along with volunteers, Arredondo hopes people will at least begin thinking about becoming a foster parent or family. The first step is just learning about fostering a child.
“They can call me if they want,” Arrendondo said. “I’ll be glad to speak with them or help point them in the right direction.”
Arrendondo can be reached through the county attorney’s office at (512) 756-5476. The Marble Falls Daybreak Rotary Club also offers members to come and speak to organizations or groups interested in learning more about fostering and/or adopting children.
People also may go to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services website at www.dfps.state.tx.us for more information on becoming a foster parent or family.