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7's HERO: Boise woman who adopted five foster children is raising awareness of the need for more foster families in Idaho

Kate Wilson, the founder of nonprofit Foster + Heart, is hoping more people will open their hearts and their homes to kids who need a safe place to land.

BOISE, Idaho — May is Foster Care Awareness Month. Right now, there is a foster care crisis in the state of Idaho. There are too many kids who need care, and not enough foster homes to take them in. If you are looking for a way to make a difference in the lives of kids in desperate need, Kate Wilson wants to meet you. 

"This is Foster Care Awareness Month, and we are super excited in the foster care world because we get to shine a light on what's happening in our community," Kate Wilson, founder of Foster + Heart said. 

Wilson is the founder of nonprofit Foster + Heart. The mission of the organization is helping the community meet the needs of children in foster care. 

We first met Kate Wilson in 2020. She told us she always wanted to be a mom, so she decided to start fostering to fill that need, and to give kids in need a safe place to land. Her fostering journey lead to her adopting five beautiful siblings under the age of five, who were all in need of a forever home. She wanted to keep them together, so she welcomed all of them into her home. Three years later, they have settled in as a family. Wilson couldn't be happier. She is finally a mom. 

"All the kids are growing, they are so big now, they are going to school, so it's going amazing," Wilson said. 

You may think her home is full, but she still has love to give. Wilson continues to foster, accepting kids in need at all hours of the day and night. 

"I've had so many kids come through, and I think every child you meet, you realize it's worth it. I feel it's such an honor to be a part of the process with every child that I get to meet," Wilson said. "There are just so many kids that are in crisis and families that are hurting, and we have an influx of children coming into care. We need more foster families in Idaho." 

Foster + Heart operates a home for children in transition to foster care, and hosts events that benefit the foster care community as a whole. 

"One of the ways we are meeting the needs of children in foster care is we opened a home called Mimi's House, and it's named after my very first foster daughter who I got five years ago," Wilson said. "The home is a place for kids to go to before they are placed with a foster family. It allows for sibling sets to stay together and gives the Department of Health and Welfare time to find children the right home. Our goal and our mission is that kids are already being removed from everything they know, their parents, their homes, their schools, and we just feel like they shouldn't be separated from siblings."

Since Mimi's House opened its doors in December, thirty kids have come through. 

"We are already realizing that it's a huge need in our community, so we are looking at hopefully opening a second home by fall," Wilson said.

The goal of foster care is to help reunify healthy and healed families. Wilson said it's a privilege to be a part of that. 

"Sometimes, these parents just find themselves in a very hard situation and they need the support," Wilson said. "It's an honor and a joy to be able to walk through that process with a family and be able to give them back their kids when they are healthy and whole." 

There are times fostering can lead to an opportunity to adopt. That's what happened to Wilson. She is hoping more people will foster and take a chance with their hearts.

"There are just so many kids that are in crisis and families that are hurting, "Wilson said. "We need to help. 

Click here for information on how to be a part of Foster + Heart, or to start the process to become a foster parent, click here. 

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