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'Angels' rally around foster families

Posted at 5:00 PM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 18:24:07-05

CLEVELAND — A local group of volunteers is looking for people that are willing to open their hearts and homes to children in crisis.

There are nearly 3,000 children in foster care in Cuyahoga County and right now there are not enough families stepping up to support them.

The volunteers are rallying around foster parents as they navigate a system that often prompts about half of them to call it quits.

"There's challenges, there's leaps of faith you have to take," said Taylor Thorpe.

At just 23, Thorpe decided to do something she was going to hold off on until she got older.

“It was actually a calling from God. I started seeing the signs, the billboards, we need foster parents," said Thorpe.

For the last year, Thorpe, who is working and in college to become a child psychologist and pediatrician, has been a foster mom to two young girls.

"It's just so great to see the progression that they have. It's a difficult world to navigate, but it's so satisfying," said Thorpe.

Her family just recently grew with the addition of a newborn.

"It's hard having three under three," said Thorpe.

So far, Thorpe has beat the odds.

"I did make it to a year. Whoop whoop," she said.

The single foster mom is getting a much needed helping hand from Cleveland Angels.

"It's really just bringing a group of friends around this family to give them some extra support. We have a really high turnover rate of foster families," said Gretchen Duppes, Cleveland Angels.

Volunteers adopt families like Thorpe's for one year, providing a monthly love box with essentials.

"Diapers, wipes, snacks," said Thorpe.

But more important than material items, Thorpe is connected with a network of people she can rely on when times get tough.

"They provide the emotional support that people don't really think that they need," said Thorpe.

For the 20 families currently connected with Cleveland Angels, the built-in community is slowly turning the tide.

"Some families have told us they wouldn't have said yes to another placement had they not had support in place."

With no regrets, Taylor said with the continued support she's ready to foster for the long haul.

"I'm in it. Ready. Bring me all the kids. They just bring such joy to my life,” said Thorpe.

There are currently 30 foster families like Taylor's on a waiting list.

Cleveland Angels is in desperate need of volunteers to meet the growing demand.

If you are interested in helping out, click here.

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