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Non-profit encourages parents to foster children

6 months 2 weeks 6 days ago Friday, May 14 2021 May 14, 2021 May 14, 2021 6:04 PM May 14, 2021 in News - Local

May is national foster care month and one statewide organization says they are looking for potential foster parents here in the Rio Grande Valley.

Currently in the U.S, more than 420,000 kids are in foster care, many after enduring some type of abuse or neglect.

Buckner International, a non-profit organization helping to place children in foster homes, says more than 30,000 of these cases are from Texas.

Their goal is to see that every child they meet finds the perfect family for them - something one family knows all too well.

After years went by without a child for Iris Saenz and her husband - Aaron - they decided to explore like fostering a child.

Experts say that option can be intimidating to some.

"We do require that foster parents have a citizenship status, are employed, and we do require that couples be married for at least four years but we also welcome single individuals," Melanie Mata, a case manager at Buckner said. "It's really neat to see the children come out of their shells and become their true selves when initially they are timid they hold back a little but as time goes on and they adjust to the family you really see their personality flourish."

Buckner International provides mental help for children during their transition period to help them get used to being part of a new family, something Iris says she couldn't be happier with.

"I am thankful for the opportunity to get to raise these little tiny lives, and get to watch them learn new things, and get excited about new things," Iris said.

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