Local foster care agencies calling on empty-nesters, church youth leaders for support

BULVERDE, Texas – The number of calls to the state hotline to report child abuse decreased during the early part of the pandemic, but the calls are starting to pick back up, according to local advocates.

Lee Towell, a Community Bible Church Bulverde member, leads the One to One Family Ministry, a foster-adopt ministry in the church. They collect diapers, formula and clothes, and something simply write letters or give them words of encouragement.

“There’s just not enough people who help, volunteer or even know how serious the problem is for these children,” Towell said about the foster care system.

Having been a foster parent, Towell knows the hesitation that might hold some back, but she says there are other ways to support children.

“If you’re not able to foster, mentoring is a wonderful way to be involved,” she explained.

Tara Roussett, CEO of SJRC Texas, said there’s been an outpouring of support, but the need is still great for teenagers.

“We still need placements for high acuity youth -- youth that have stepped down from maybe short-term psychiatric stays,” Roussett said. “Empty-nesters or people that may just have a heart and a passion for kids in foster care -- I think of youth group pastors, people that know how to work with teenagers or the people that really need the most.”

SJRC Texas has teamed up with other foster agencies to create, FosterTX.org, a one-stop-shop for families inquiring about fostering to see which agency best fits them.

“It helps match people to agencies and communities. Once they get that referral, then the individual child-placing agency can work with the family and grow them because every child-placing agency is different.

While the outpouring of churches has helped tremendously, she says the work is not done, and she’s calling on more to step up to help. Click here for more information about FosterTX.org.


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About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.