Helping foster children find forever homes


INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - It's a growing problem in our community: children being uprooted and forced into foster care, starting fresh at a young age with people they often don't know.

An agency that helps to make sure they don't fall through the cracks needs your help.

“You just feel so alone, and you just don't know what's going to come next,” said former foster youth Brooklyn Harris.

It's a story that begins with sadness but comes with a happy ending.

“Now I have more of a stable life and have a big family and am surrounded by loved ones,” Harris said.

Her success story wouldn't be possible without her advocate, Kim Hollabaugh.

“It really taught me a lot about myself. I probably learned more from the kids I worked with than they probably learned from me,” Hollabaugh laughed.

The story here is two-fold. Brooklyn entered foster care at 13 and, for three years, didn't have a permanent family. Kim became the only constant in her life.

“Someone I can always go to and talk to. Someone who knows what I've been through, what I'm going to do, what can I do,” Harris said.

That bond wouldn't have been possible without Child Advocates.

“I did a couple of different jobs within the child welfare system and I found there was someone in court representing parents, DCS, but there was just a void for a voice for the child,” Hollabaugh said.

That's what Child Advocates provides, so Hollabaugh signed up to help.

“On the one hand being a volunteer can be very challenging; on the other hand, it is quite rewarding to be able to say I helped that child,” said Child Advocates CEO Cindy Booth.

Volunteers are in short supply, all while the number of children in need is constantly growing.

“It is simply a fact that we cannot represent all the children we have with staff members. We have to have the help from our community,” Booth said.

Without it, stories like Brooklyn's journey to her forever family might not be possible.

“My second day there, I felt like I was born into this family; they just made me feel so welcomed,” Harris said.

Volunteers receive training and can set the number of hours they work.

Learn more about Child Advocates.