Flash mob raises awareness on foster care

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- More than 380,000 children and youth are in the foster care system and there's a growing need for support.

As part of National Foster Care Month, Human Services Departments in Eau Claire, Chippewa, Trempealeau and surrounding counties organized a flash mob in Eau Claire.

Thursday’s rainfall was fitting as this year's campaign theme is "Shelter from the Storm" symbolizing the shelter foster parents can give to a child in crisis. Dozens of people showed up in front of Just Local Foods near downtown with yellow umbrellas to raise awareness.

Mike Heath with the Children, Youth and Family Coalition said the flash mob was a way to raise the visibility of foster care issues and to encourage others to get involved.

Organizers say the issue goes beyond providing a safe space for children.

Children often enter foster care because of neglect, abuse, family crisis or other issues going on at home.

Foster parents can help provide stability, affection and nurturing.
One foster parent from Chippewa Falls said she’s been involved in foster care for eight years with her husband.

“There are so many kids out there that just need a little bit of time to go through the rough time that their family’s going through and they just need a place to stay,” said Zylstra.

Zylstra said she and her husband are adopting two children they’ve fostered, hopefully by this summer.

There are other ways you can get involved to change a lifetime of a child or youth, including spreading the word, making a financial contribution, or even becoming a foster or adoptive parent.

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