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Huntsville SAFY works to help kids and teens in foster care who may require extra attention

They say one in three of these teens will experience homelessness once they age out of foster care. Being adopted or fostered can help combat this.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — SAFY of Huntsville is a foster care organization with a focus on kids and teens who may require extra care.

"Our kids that are in foster care, they have some type of mental health diagnosis, so they just need a little extra care when they come into foster care," said SAFY Foster Parent Recruiter Whitney Davis. "They are older, so we don't have babies. The only way we have a baby is if it's a teen mom who has a baby, or she's pregnant, so, you can get a baby that way."

The organization focuses on helping older children ages 8 to 18 years old. They say one in three of these teens will experience homelessness once they age out of foster care. Being adopted or fostered can help combat this.

"They become homeless because they're not gaining those life skills. I tell people all the time, I always remember my Dad taking me to the bank and getting that first checking account," said Davis. "I mean, think about whoever raised you - when they taught you how to wash dishes, you know, how to wash your clothes. how to get your driver's license, I mean all those things are basic life skills that my kids are missing out on."

Fostering a child isn't the only way people can help out, SAFY says. Sharing Facebook posts, distributing flyers and partnering with the organization are all ways you can support SAFY.

Davis says the work can be bittersweet at times.

"One of our kids is getting adopted," said Davis. "She's been with us for a couple of years, she's been in foster care and one of the foster moms is about to adopt her. So, we're losing her as a foster child, but she's gaining a mom."

IN OTHER NEWS: Local therapist says there has been a shortage in mental health services since pandemic