Foster kids, families celebrated at annual fair

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By Brandi Makuski

About 40 foster kids and their host families participated in the 2018 “Celebrate Foster Care” event on May 24.

The annual festival affords a social gathering for children in the foster care system and provides a small “thank you” to foster families in the Portage Co. Area. The event included games, face-painting, henna tattoos, a fire truck display from the Stevens Point Fire Dept. and an appearance by K-9 Bill—and his human partner, Office Seth Pionke—from the Plover Police Department.

County Executive Chris Holman, County Board Chairman Al Haga, and several other city and county officials were also present for the min-carnival.

Mayor Mike Wiza has declared May as Foster Care Month, saying in his proclamation that the city “encourages[s] the citizens of the City of Stevens Point to recognize this need in our community and be appreciative of those who choose to become involved.”

The system has 55 foster care homes, according to Danita Docka, from Portage Co. Health & Human Services.

“But we can always use more,” she said, adding over 7,000 kids are in the system statewide. “Right now we’re placing a lot of kids with extended family members, but those family members still need to be certified.”

Docka said kids “never wait” for placement.

“We try to keep all the kids local, but sometimes there’s nothing local available,” she said.

Foster families willing to take teenagers and siblings are in the greatest need right now, Docka added.

For more information on becoming a foster family, Docka can be reached at [email protected] or (715) 345-5913.

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