Students, DCS partner together to help foster kids

Students, DCS partner together to help foster kids

JASPER, Ind. (WFIE) - Often when children go into foster care they don’t bring anything with them, but the clothes they’re wearing. Members of the Dubois County Leadership Academy are hoping to help change that.

To graduate, members of the Dubois County Leadership Academy must complete a final project. One group decided to lead by helping some of the most vulnerable children in their community.

Something like a backpack can mean so much to a child in foster care. That’s why this Dubois County Leadership Academy group decided to team up with the Department of Child Services to provide “foster packs.”

Each “foster pack” is stuffed with items that children in foster care would find useful when transitioning to a new home.

“So when a child is placed in foster care DCS steps in and a case manager helps that family," Leadership Academy student Lisa Witte said. "So the backpacks will be here ready to go so a case manager can go ahead and give that child the backpack.”

Children in foster care moving from one home to the next usually do so with nothing, but the clothes on their back. Which is why this team of young people reached out to the Indiana DCS.

“These foster packs will have the basic essentials for the first twenty four to 48-hours," said Leadership Academy student Ryan Kelley. "One, for the foster kid and two, for the foster parent. The items include from toothpaste, to tooth brush, to shampoo, to soap, and coloring books or books, blankets, bottles.”

Each bag is tailored to the ages of the kids DCS serves, from infants to teenagers.

“Most of the time today the kids come with just the clothes on their backs or seen some kids come with a garbage bag of their belongings so these foster packs will have the basic essentials,” said Kelley.

The group hopes to make more than 100 backpacks before they graduate.

Here is a list of needed items if you would like to donate to the project: deodorant, diapers, feminine hygiene products, pajamas (age range 0-8+), reading books, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste.

Donations can be dropped off at the public libraries in: Ferdinand, Huntingburg, and Jasper. You can also drop them off at the Family Dollar in Huntinburg or the St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

The deadline to donate supplies is August 1.

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