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Foster Care Awareness Month

A local family shares their experience fostering children in need.
ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt.- May is National Foster Care Awareness Month.  962 kids are in foster care in Vermont.  10-year-old Ryan Devenney used to be one of them, until the Devenney family adopted him in 2009.

"Ryan came to live with us on my birthday, so I always tell him he's the best birthday present we've ever had," says Ryans father, Brent Devenney.

Lori and Brent Devenney have been fostering kids for eight years.  Ryan was their first in 2007, when he was 3 years old.

"He was a little bit malnourished and it was just hard," says Ryan's mother, Lori Devenney.  "He did a lot of sleeping in the beginning."

The number of kids needing foster care is increasing.  Vermont Department for Children and families says more people willing to take them in are needed.  Currently, there are 1,036 licensed foster homes in the state. 

Finding a foster family in the child's hometown is ideal, though atypical.  In Ryan's case he moved to a different county, from Vergennes to Essex Junction.

"That's another loss for the child," says D.C.F. Family Supervisor Amanda Kramer.  "It makes leaving their family, which is already difficult and traumatic, that much harder."

In vermont, 183 foster children were adopted last year.  To find out more about foster care, click the resources below:

Vermont Department for Children and Families

Lund Center 

Vermont Foster and Adoptive Family Association

Howard Center

Easter Seals
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