Louisville agencies encourage Kentuckians to foster in honor of National Foster Care Month

Louisville agencies call on Kentuckians to foster in honor of National Foster Care Month
Published: May. 12, 2023 at 7:28 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - May is recognized as National Foster Care Month, and local agencies are encouraging more Kentuckians to become foster parents.

Kentucky Services said more than 8,000 children are in foster care. StepStone Family and Youth Services of Kentucky said they’re hoping to find them all loving families.

Cedeno Shaw is a foster parent in Louisville and says he’s been fostering children for almost 30 years.

He calls it the most rewarding thing he has ever done.

While he said it does come with some pitfalls, knowing he has a chance to save children’s lives, makes it all worth it.

As of May 7, the Commonwealth of Kentucky reports more than 8,600 children are in the foster care system.

There’s always a need for foster families, and Shaw explained what to consider when taking children in.

“First of all, you got to really want to help,” Shaw said. “That is huge. If you really want to help and you really care, that will take you a long way.”

Shaw said he has been fostering children for nearly three decades and has never regretted it.

He tells WAVE News that he believes every child deserves an opportunity to be loved.

“Me personally, I take a lot of kids that nobody else would want and to me,” explained Shaw. “Everybody deserves that second and sometimes that third chance, and that’s what I do.”

Shaw said another part of his mission to help is finding the right agency that cares about pairing kids with families.

For him, that agency is StepStone Family and Youth Services of Kentucky.

“Everybody is there for everybody,” Shaw said. “If they have something they’re like, ‘hey Deno it’s 1 p.m., I hate to bother you but do you think you could do this?’ yes. So that’s what makes it great because we are all together and really one family. Everybody is together.”

To become a foster parent, StepStone said they do not discriminate against sexual orientation or identity and you do not have to be married.

Foster parents will receive support from the state and community while fostering children after passing a background check, getting fingerprinted and going through free training.

StepStone asks for anyone interested to reach out to them to make the next step.

“There are so many kids out here that need that loving homes,” Shaw said. “That needs that structure. And people have heard the bad mostly about foster care as if it’s all bad, but no, there’s some good.”

Shaw said he stays connected to most of the kids he has fostered, which he said is too much to count.

He asks if anyone is interested, he and so many other foster parents are willing to lend a helping hand to help save children’s lives.

To learn more about StepStone and becoming a foster parent, visit their website.