Petty has fostered 15 children since 2006. She and her husband adopted two former foster children, now ages 17 and 26. She also has two biological children, ages 27 and 23.
Petty said about seven years are required for a child to overcome circumstances that led to the foster situation.
She has fostered African-American, Latino, biracial and Caucasian children.
“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Perry said of being a foster parent, “but the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.”
Six weeks of training are required to become a foster parent, along with a home evaluation, drug screening, a criminal background check, a CPS history check and fingerprinting.
DFCS checks on foster children monthly, and a foster parent’s home is re-evaluated annually.
People live in bubbles and do not realize the needs of foster children or the need for more foster homes, Petty said.
If a foster child has a need not funded by the program, the foster parents pay and are reimbursed by DFCS.
Petty, who works outside the home, knows she will have to give up her foster children to their parents or to adoption.
“But, in the meantime, you love them like your own,” Petty said…