Alabama foster care program hosts free fall festival in hopes to recruit foster families

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Alabama Mentor is hosting a free foster care fall festival on Saturday from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the Village of Providence Park.

The festival is being hosted by Alabama Mentor, a foster care service provider. They are hoping to spread awareness about the critical need for foster parents.

Alabama Mentor is a Therapeutic Foster Care program that serves children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral challenges throughout Alabama.

In their program, kids live with therapeutic foster parents, called Mentors, who provide care, support, and therapeutic services to address challenges that they say often result from abuse, neglect, loss or other traumatic experiences.

Alabama Mentor Fall Flyer

"Right now in Alabama alone there are over 6,000 kids in foster care and we have a little under 1,500 homes," said Erica Hardesty, who is a foster parent recruiter for Alabama Mentor.

Hardesty said in Madison County specifically there are about 600 kids in foster care and only about 100 families fostering.

"So we have about 500 kiddos that desperately, desperately need homes," said Hardesty.

There will be foster parents and foster kids that those interested in fostering can speak with. Alabama Mentor recruiters will also be there to talk to prospective parents.

"We will have a table set up to where if you do have questions you can come talk to us," said Hardesty. "I'll be standing there and it's really just a time. Let's just talk about this. Talk about your concerns, talk about your strengths, the things that you think you would be good at with this."

Families can enjoy a ton of fall activities. There will be pumpkin painting, sack races, corn hole, face painting, and much more.

Families can also dig into some free snacks including popcorn, chili, and donuts. Hot apple cider will be provided to help everyone stay warm.

If you can't make it to the festival you can learn more about Alabama Mentor by visiting their website. They are also hosting a foster care information session on November 5 at 6 p.m.  You can take part in it through this link.

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