There are more than 1,000 children in the Lucas County foster care system, but only about 200 foster families are available to care for them, Lucas County Child Protective Services said.
MAUMEE, Ohio – It has more than 1,000 children Foster Family of Lucas County system, but only about 200 foster families able to care for them.
As May is National Foster Care Awareness Month, Lucas County is honoring its families by looking for more.
Because the county can only place about 20% of the children in its care in foster care, Sherry Dunn, public information officer with Children’s Aid Services of Lucas Countysaid they are doing the best they can with the resources they have.
Dunn is even working on reviving a program called “One Church, One Child” where they ask all religious organizations to support one foster family or encourage one of their members to foster. Dunn said they are also looking for specific families.
“We need dads, too,” Dunn said. “Single dads, couple dads, married dads, we really need dads.”
At the Chesser home in Maumee, all 10 kids love foster dad Jeremy. He said the family has become so large because of the blessing, as he has already given birth to two biological children and has become a foster parent to two children.
And Chesser got the call for more.
“When you call me on four. Why not on all six? They say, ‘Well, that’s a lot, Mr. Chesser.’ I said, ‘Oh, I know right. Don’t separate these kids,'” Chesser said.
He and his wife Tisha started raising children back in 2017. He said it’s not easy work, but parenting is never done. The easiest way to look at parenting is to remember who all the work is for.
“It’s probably the most selfless thing you’ll ever do in your life,” Chesser said.
The Chesser family is no ordinary foster family, as they have taken in such a large number of children. But both Dunn and Chesser said no one should be a hero parent and take on so many children. Sometimes one is enough.
Dunn also said the low number of foster homes is partly due to retirements.
“Many of our foster parents have been with us for a long period of time,” Dunn said. “A lot of our new foster parents come. These foster parents adopt, and once they adopt, they close their homes.”
Families are needed. Chess will be busy for quite some time, with kids from preschool to high school kids. The house is full of snacks, books, gym bags and love.
“Two years ago, on June 8, 2021, we had a group of six siblings and we just got along,” Chesser said. “Over the next three months, we will be moving toward adoption. We will be a permanent family of 12 people.’
On June 5, at 9:00 a.m., face-to-face pre-conscription training for adoptive parents begins. Click here.