The Ottumwa Courier

Wapello County

May 17, 2013

Agency couple has provided foster care for 38 kids in last decade

(Continued)

Finding a home difficult for teens, sibling groups

"We take in teenage girls because we got a couple of them and we were very successful in helping them transition into adulthood," Angie said. "Once you become known for being good at something, then they want you to stay in that area."

There are few foster homes willing to take teenagers and sibling groups. Out of Wapello County's 26 foster families, only five are willing to accept teenagers. And last year alone, 40 teens were referred into foster care in the county.

"I think teens scare a lot of people, especially if they haven't experienced that age in parenting," said Vivian Willemsen, Iowa KidsNet licensing and recruitment specialist. "Our kids have gone through a lot of trauma, so there's that sense of abandonment they feel; they have very low self-confidence. People find that a lot more challenging in teens. I'm not saying all of our teens are challenging; we have some that are like any other typical teen. But just because people don't have experience with teens, they can be put off by that."

The Hamms also take in sibling groups after witnessing brothers and sisters being wrenched apart.

"When the children are put in foster care, they're already taken away from their biological family," Angie said. "It's nice if they can stay with one or two siblings, because that gives them familiarity and comfort."

A lack of foster families willing to take in these two groups is a statewide phenomenon, Willemsen said.

"Another big part of that is to make sure they're in the same school," Willemsen said. "If there are no homes in Ottumwa, they have to go to Des Moines or Dubuque. They have to change schools, change everything."

Text Only
Wapello County
  • 0728 OTT ribs in eldon BBQ dinner with a hundred friends

    ELDON --- This year's Eldon Rib Cook-off was won by three BBQ chefs --- and about 150 hungry visitors. "I was down here last year, too," said Dwayne Yates from Floris, who was biting into his third smoked rib. "I never had a bad one yet." That's what

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0617 OTT Wapello Co Fair color photo -L -M Come one, come all to the Wapello County Fair

    ELDON — The Wapello County Fair is just around the corner, kicking off with entries being welcomed at Wapello Hall and the Iowa Agricultural Hall from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday. On Thursday, entries for competition will be received from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Siegel, Rubel face off in forum OTTUMWA — For Steve Siegel, a political campaign is nothing new. For Tom Rubel, being the candidate is a first. Now they want the same job. Siegel and Rubel are seeking the Democratic nomination for SD 41, the Iowa Senate district which includes Ottu

    May 29, 2014

  • 0530 OTT Oak tatters picture color Oak leaves left in tatters

    OTTUMWA — Trees throughout Iowa have been terrorized by the likes of Emerald Ash Borer and other dangers in the past months and now oak trees throughout Iowa are in a little bit of more trouble because of a disease called oak tatters. Thankfully, tho

    May 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Help fight hunger OTTUMWA — The groups began with a question: How to better help Wapello County residents who don't have enough decent food. Next week, they'll decide if they've found any answers. The food security project, Growing Wapello Together, had small groups m

    May 28, 2014

  • Attempted murder trial set for July KEOSAUQUA — The Van Buren County man accused of attempted murder could head to trial in a remarkably short time. Dimitrious Royal has a trial date of July 15. If that date is when the trial actually begins, it would take place just more than 11 weeks

    May 28, 2014

  • Agency aces assessment OTTUMWA — A local agency had a lot riding on the outcome of an independent review. They nailed it. "The credential we just received was to show we are a quality [organization]," said Bryan Dunn, executive director of Sieda Community Action. "It's som

    May 27, 2014

  • County backs bike rides OTTUMWA — Bike rides in Wapello County just received a personal push of goodwill from Wapello County Board of Supervisors. Tuesday, supervisors signed a resolution of support for three area bike rides to be conducted in June. The rides include the H

    May 27, 2014

  • 0527 OTT EMS week color photo -L -M ORHC celebrates EMS Week OTTUMWA — During National EMS week, May 18-24, Ottumwa Regional Health Center (ORHC) celebrated its staff, the community EMS providers and the importance of being prepared in emergency situations through education. The ambulance service at ORHC, also

    May 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Moving into the future OTTUMWA — Wapello County Supervisor Greg Kenning joked after the board approved upgrading the county’s servers Tuesday. “You can put away your quills.” Jokes asides, Wapello County will now have more opportunity to maximize its server resources. The

    May 20, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National