When it comes to caring for area foster children, one Shawnee, Oklahoma, family makes community the priority. Brit and Amber Hembree provide guidance and support for children in their greatest time of need as foster parents through Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s FireLodge Children and Family Services.
CPN tribal member Sara Winsett and her husband Michael decided to expand their family in late 2019. They reached out to FireLodge and began their journey to parenthood, and this year, they adopted three children.
Before they even started dating, Reide and Robert Johnson each knew they wanted to become foster parents. They found their shared desire stemmed from their tribal heritage and became an approved foster home with Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s FireLodge Children & Family Service in September 2020.
CPN’s FireLodge Children and Family Services constantly searches for new Native American families to welcome a child into their home. Norman, Oklahoma, residents Jimmie and Greg Hodgkins began fostering through FireLodge in April 2020.
With numerous shelter-in-place orders in effect to promote social distancing during the pandemic, and increased dependency of older adults on others, the pandemic heightens the potential for elder abuse.
CPN Indian Child Welfare Department caseworker Whitney Coots helps children of neglect and abuse improve their situation every day.
With help from loved ones and professionals, children can work through and overcome their experiences, while transitioning from victim to survivor.
Although each and every situation is unique in child welfare, there is some basic information you can use to guide you through the process of deciding to open your home to children in need.