Nonprofit Extends Foster Family Assistance to Taney, Christian Counties

Published 11/26 2013 05:17PM

Updated 11/26 2013 07:20PM

FORSYTH, Mo. -- Every day the volunteers at Ambassadors for Children see the joys and difficulties foster families in Missouri face.

Natalie Allen, the director of the organization, said the state’s reimbursements for families are among the worst in the nation.

“We're so thankful for the families that welcome them in,” she said. “But when your family grows overnight it's a huge financial burden.”

Now the organization is expanding its assistance to Taney and Christian Co.

Jenna Hunter is a foster mom in Forsyth, Mo.  Who was able to find assistance for the infant she brought to her home. Ambassadors for Children provided diapers and other supplies for her and her family.

More than 200 children are in foster care in Taney Co., and another 100 in Christian.  Allen said seasonal employment trends in the Branson area lead to increased levels of child hunger and neglect.

“There are lots of issues with poverty,” she said. “And if you're struggling to meet your basic needs every day your kids are going to feel the impact of that.”

Ambassadors for children is one of the only places foster families can come for new clothing. Since the expansion, the organization has become busier than ever and helping more foster parents like Hunter.

“It's tough,” Hunter said. “It's a roller coaster ride for sure, but you're the best thing your child needs at this point. And you're their only voice.”

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