State Launches Foster Parent Recruitment Ad Effort During Holiday SeasonDec. 1, 2009
Anchorage - On any day roughly 2,000 children live without their parents in Alaska’s foster care system. Alaska faces a chronic shortage of foster homes, and policymakers are working to fix that problem. “When you don’t have enough foster families, children get bounced between foster care placements at a time when they need love and stability, not stress and instability,” said Rep. Les Gara, who lived in foster care as a child.
To help solve this problem, the Legislature authorized a media campaign to help attract needed foster parents. The attached television ad will run the rest of the year, and into 2010. “Alaska faces a pressing need for additional foster parents. We are looking for those special people who are able and willing to be responsible role models and provide the parental support these children need and deserve,” said Rep. Mike Hawker.
Rep. Gara initiated the effort, which was welcomed with bi-partisan legislative support. Senate Finance Committee Co-Chair Lyman Hoffman (D-Bethel) filed an amendment with support of the Senate Finance Committee’s members, and House Finance Committee Co-Chair Mike Hawker worked with Rep. Gara in the House Finance Committee, whose members were also supportive.
Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Bill Hogan, who helped promote this low-cost effort, issued the following statement as this Ad campaign was launched: “Foster parents do some of the most important work in Alaska, providing safe and nurturing homes for children who need them the most. The purpose of this public service announcement is to interest more Alaskans in taking on this difficult, but immensely rewarding job, while helping the child maintain a vital connection with his or her heritage and culture. We want to especially thank Rep. Gara for his hard work to secure the funds to make and deliver this PSA, and for all the advocacy he does on behalf of Alaska’s foster children.”