Arapahoe County to host drive-thru celebration for area foster care families
The Collaborative Foster Care Program (CFCP) is hosting a drive-thru event to show its appreciation for all certified foster and kinship parents in the program, and to raise awareness around foster care parenting. The event will be held Saturday, May 22 from 10 a.m.–12 p.m. at the Arapahoe County Arapahoe Plaza (APZ) building at 1690 W. Littleton Blvd. in Littleton. Commissioners from Arapahoe, Jefferson and Douglas counties will attend.
The event honors foster care parents for the love, energy, commitment and perseverance they provide kids on a daily basis. Because of the pandemic, organizers decided to produce a drive-thru event to celebrate parents while adhering to social distancing recommendations.
The event also is designed to encourage other families to consider becoming foster care providers.
In 2020, CFCP brought in 47 new foster homes and closed 40, for a net gain of seven foster homes, compared to the plus-13 gain in foster homes between 2019 and 2020.
Foster families everywhere took on extra tasks and stresses last year because of the pandemic and its many challenges. “These modifications included things such as getting creative about holding virtual meetings so children could continue to see their biological parents, managing virtual and in-person appointments for therapy and medical care, online schooling and other sacrifices,” said Ashely Schwieger, CFCP supervisor. “Although we did receive community support and donations to help families during this time, there were families who were not able to provide care or who left the program during what was an unusually stressful time for everyone.”
At Saturday’s event, CFCP parents will drive through the front parking lot of APZ (entering on Crocker and exiting to Windermere). Attendees will include county commissioners, CFCP staff and community partners such as high school cheer teams, bands and drum lines, and a choir that will fete the cars as they pass through the lot.
CFCP staff members in “CFCP Crew” shirts will wave signs of appreciation, and commissioners will hand out gift bags to the families that will contain a $25 Target gift card, card stock listing several inspirational podcast links, sensory putty, a car magnet that says “We Opened Our Hearts and Our Home,” CFCP hand sanitizer, a CD of a motivational speaking event with Craig Zablocki, and a certificate of appreciation that all certification workers completed for their families. These certificates will list years of service, as well as personal qualities the parent(s) bring to fostering and the program. We will also have grab bags for kids in the car that will have snacks, fidget toys, and sensory items.
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