Key family shares foster care experience with Council

The Atascadero City Council recognized May 2019 as Foster Care Awareness Month. The proclamation, read by Mayor Heather Moreno, stated there are more than 350 youth and teenagers in the County of San Luis Obispo currently in the foster care system. The City wishes to bring awareness to the need for workers, volunteers and resource family homes for children.

Christopher Key spoke to the City Council about he and his wife’s experience in the Foster Care system. The Key family began fostering children in 2014 and in that time they have housed five separate children with ages that ranged from 3 months to 5 years. The length of stay for the children also varied greatly from as short as one month to as long as 5 years.

Raised in a family that supported foster care, Key was no stranger to having strangers come and stay in his home. He explained that, like his parents, he and his wife “felt called also, because of our faith in Jesus Christ, that we are to care for the orphans.”

“All of these children have been an incredible blessing to our family and I hope in return that we have been a blessing to them as well,” Key told the council.

Key addressed comments that he says he hears frequently concerning his foster care work. People will often give him various reasons why they could not be involved in such a program, reasons that involve the impact on their own children or facing the daunting task of giving the children back after caring for them.

Though valid fears, Key said that the reason someone gets into foster care is not for the ease of it or the benefits it may bring but for the good of the child so that they may have a safe place and a loving home while they are in foster care.

“Foster care, I would say, is not for everyone but it is for a lot more people that are currently doing it now,” Key said, “… and there are many other ways to get involved in foster care other than having children come into your home.”

Key also said he believes that through helping the foster care system, people would help “stem the flow of people who fall through the cracks and become homeless.”

For more information on volunteering or becoming a resource family, visit slofostercare.com.

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