Wisconsin has over 4,200 licensed foster homes.
According to Wisconsin Department of Children and Families Deputy Communications Director Gina Paige, the total number of foster beds statewide is close to 9,800.
“We do not currently have a situation where there are not enough available foster parents with which to place children,” Paige said answering a question posed by the Milton Courier in an email. “However, some areas of the state are experiencing more challenges in finding foster parents at all training levels and DCF continues to actively work with partners to identify and train parents who are willing to offer care to children in need of a temporary, loving environment to call home.”
Rick and Peggy Cadd of Milton, foster parents for nearly 40 years, have served as a resource for other foster parents. Peggy also has taught foster care classes.
“The most important thing when you take a child into your home is to be flexible – and patient,” she said.
Foster parents face a lot of scrutiny, she said.
“Biological parents will complain about how you parent,” she said, “and social workers will come in and out of your home.”
As a foster parent, Rick said, “You might think of yourself as a savior or someone who saves children. They don’t think like that.”
Their oldest daughter, after she was adopted, would tell Peggy, “You’re not my real mom.”