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Striving to find permanent homes for foster childrenTell North Platte what you think

"I was in foster care since I was two weeks old,” 18-year-old Lucas Lisle said. “My parents didn’t know how to take care of me.”

Lisle found a foster mother, with who he stayed for six and a half years. The woman eventually adopted him, but later, she couldn’t handle the situation anymore and put him back into the foster care system, Lisle said.

It’s tough on children.

“It’s not the children’s fault,” Lisle’s adoptive father Jack Taff of Omaha said. “It’s the situation they’re thrown into.”

Now, Lisle is thankful to have found a permanent home with a family who cares about him. Next year, he plans to attend Southeast Community College.

“I have a future and I plan to stick to what I do,” Lisle said.

In an effort to increase adoptions within the foster care system, Gov. Dave Heineman declared November as Adoption Awareness Month in Nebraska.

According to Thomas Pristow, the director of Children and Family Services, who also attended the press conference, there have been more than 200 adoptions in 2012, and another 130 will take place in December.

However, Pristow added that there is still a shortage of available foster families both statewide and nationally. Plus, finding adoptive families for older youth and siblings who want to stay together tends to be more difficult.

“Every child deserves a home where they’re safe,” Pristow said.

Taff described his family’s experience in adopting Lisle and their other 15-year-old son. Taff said, as a teacher, he has seen the need and suffering of kids in the foster care system. He also added that he has seen what good, stable homes can do for those children.

“We took on the challenge,” Taff said. “We get as much out of it as the kids do.”

Lisle said with his family, he gets discipline he never received before. He said he used to do whatever he wanted and thought he could get away with it. Now, when Lisle or his brother makes mistakes, Taff said he and his wife, Cathy, talk to their sons and try to work out the problem.

Anyone interested in more information about foster children who are available for adoption can visit the Department of Health and Human Services website at http://dhhs.ne.gov/AdoptionKids or call 1-800-7-PARENT (1-800-772-7368).

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 12/2/2012
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