DENVER (KDVR) — While dozens of community members are stepping up to help foster young children in Denver, there’s a major need to support teenagers in the system.
FOX31’s Nicole Fierro is looking into the local need and the community members serving to make a difference in older children’s lives.
As a 27-year-old single female, Alexandra Sopocy breaks the stereotypical idea of what’s needed to be a foster parent.
“I’ve done a lot of hard things, and this is definitely the hardest, but it’s also the most rewarding,” Sopocy said.
Sopocy is currently raising a 15-year-old and has helped several other children in the Denver community.
“She is my foster daughter but I just refer to her as my daughter,” Sopocy said. “She’s been with me 14 months, she’s my kid.”
Denver Human Services currently has around 150 families supporting the foster care system. About two-thirds of those homes are open to taking newborns to 12 years old, and officials say most families are interested in taking in children up to 3 years old.
“The struggle right now is really finding a home that will work with adolescence who understand them, understand where they are coming from,” DHS Program Manager Amy Espinosa said.
“People are like teenagers, they’re moody, they have attitude, they rebel, but they’re just big little kids that need that same love and attention,” Sopocy said. “There’s so many firsts that I’ve gotten to have with my daughter. I got to take pictures for her first homecoming. When she’s learning to be independent, it’s a blessing to me that I get to be along on this journey with her.”
Community members can sign up to help with foster care in Denver County starting at 21 years old. Espinosa says families can help for as short as a matter of hours to a lifetime. If you are interested in learning more about the foster care system, you can go to their website.