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Guest column: Look within your own borders to help

By DEBBIE HOFHINES
Utah Foster Care Foundation

I have been very encouraged to see many Americans, and especially Utahns, stepping forward to help those unfortunate Haitian people devastated by an earthquake.

I've received many calls regarding orphan children coming to the U.S. and Utah specifically. Many are willing to reach out and provide safety and permanence to thousands of needy children from another country.

While this is commendable, you've only to look within our own country's borders and even within the borders of our own state to find children who need the same thing.

Utah currently has nearly 2,700 such children in state custody because their parents were not safely caring for them. Foster care is a difficult and thankless service and the care foster parents provide for children is often overlooked by other members of the community.

While most children in foster care will be reunited with their families, some will need permanency that only adoption can afford them. Imagine the impact you can have on children/teens in this very community.

When you feel the desire to reach out and help those in such terrible conditions in other countries, consider helping close to home as well.

For more information call 435-636-0210, 1-877-506-4666 or visit our Web site at www.utahfostercare.org.




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