PROSPECT, Maine — Foster families in Maine drew attention to their program and got to have a little fun, too, Saturday afternoon at Fort Knox.
According to Ed Ford, community resource coordinator for Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine Inc., approximately 500 people attended Foster Family Day at the fort.
The event was held to commemorate National Foster Care Month.
“It was awesome,” Ford said of the event.
The festival featured kite flying, bubble making, face painting and small-scale carpentry such as building wooden tool boxes and toy wooden cars, according to Ford. Attendees could get a close look at a firetruck provided by Prospect Fire Department and could watch Civil War re-enacters fire rifles and cannon.
The event included barbecue and watermelon and a chance to explore the fort, Ford said.
Besides providing fun for foster families, the event was meant to show them some appreciation and to highlight the importance of foster family programs in Maine, according to Ford. Many children are neglected or abused before they enter foster care, he said. Foster families give them safe, loving and stable homes and help prepare them for being reunited with their families or making the transition to new families or to independence.
“We always hope kids don’t spend a lot of time in foster care,” Ford said. “There’s a lot of work. The type of work to make that happen is very important.”
In a news release about National Foster Care Month, Ford indicated that nearly 500,000 children are in foster care nationwide, 2,400 in Maine. More information about foster programs in Maine is available by calling 1-877-505-0545 or 1-800-833-9786.