The Roanoker - July/August 2020 - 52

ypically, the best place for a child is with
his family - but not always. In cases where
children are abused, neglected or their safety
and health are compromised in other ways,
the department of social services steps in
and works with area foster care agencies to
find placements for the children.
The goal of foster care is to take a child
out of an unsafe or unstable environment
and place them in a safe, caring one with
the hope that one day, their family can
provide a safe and nurturing home and they
can be reunited. While the initial hope of
all involved is that families heal and are
reunited, about 32% of foster children in
Virginia experience reunification with their parents. The role of a foster parent
is to provide temporary care in their home until they find a permanent home
with their family, a relative or through adoption.
Over 1,000 children are in foster care throughout Southwest Virginia. Kaycin
Ballard, Roanoke Recruitment Coordinator at Embrace Treatment Foster Care,
says they typically have 35-60 children awaiting placement.
" There are never enough families, " she says. " Each foster family offers
something unique to a child so the more families there are the better chance
of finding a match that will be successful and help the kids continue to grow. "
Jennifer Shively, Intercept Treatment Foster Care Director, says they currently
have 131 children in Southwest Virginia. She says the most difficult thing in
placing children is that they pull at your heartstrings.
" We have a heart to care and protect. We want to give them the best life and
opportunities possible, " Shively says.
Mateja Kormann of Roanoke felt called to care for children, though was not
sure in what capacity. While trying to figure that out, she and her husband,
Joseph Kormann, tried to have children.
" After years of no luck, we began switching gears and looking into other
options to make a difference in the world. I started searching adoption websites
and it just felt like that wasn't right. Then the Holy Spirit prompted me to
Google foster care. "
They prayed on it and decided to become foster parents. They welcomed their
first foster child into their home in August 2018. Since then, they have had seven
foster children, one of whom has moved in with his grandfather. One has joined
the Marines and the Kormanns are currently adopting siblings Izabella, 7, and
Bryson, 12, who have been in their care for two years. They are also adopting a
baby (not through foster care).
When asked about foster care, Izabella says, " It's good and sad because I miss
my mom and dad, but this family is great. "
The fate of the other set of sibling girls is unknown. Dilania*, 11, says at first
being in foster care with another family " was hard, but when I walked in the
door (at the Kormanns), my world changed. They are taking care of us. "
Trey, 18, graduated from high school with hopes to intern at a hospital because
he likes helping people. He spent two years with another foster mom before

52

JULY/AUGUST 2020

" E AC H F O S T E R FA M I LY
OFFERS SOMETHING
UNIQUE TO A CHILD SO
T H E M O R E FA M I L I E S T H E R E
ARE THE BETTER CHANCE
O F F I N D I N G A M AT C H T H AT
WILL BE SUCCESSFUL AND
HELP THE KIDS CONTINUE
TO GROW. "
-Kaycin Ballard

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The Roanoker - July/August 2020 - Cover1
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