The Ottumwa Courier

Wapello County

May 17, 2013

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


Saying goodbye

It's bittersweet to watch children leave their home and return to their biological families, the Hamms said. But they've become well-rounded individuals, Angie said, picking up a variety of skills, improving academically and participating in sports and activities during their time with the Hamms.

The difference in children from the moment they step through the door to the day they leave is "night and day," Terry said.

"It's sad because they've grown to like us and get to know us," Angie said. "But it's glad because they're going home. We miss 'em like crazy, but we know that's where they need to be and we help support that."

Shortage of foster families plagues Iowa

The need for more foster parents is huge, Angie said, especially for the two groups of children that are hardest to place: sibling groups and teenagers.

The shortest stay in the Hamm home has been one week; the longest: eight years.

"Kids that come to you have been through stressful situations," Terry said. "They carry baggage."

The children come from every background imaginable, Angie said, which does sometimes include drugs or abuse.

"The majority of the time ... it's something that's out of their control and it's usually not their fault," Angie said. "We don't judge the parents, we don't judge the families. We're here to give them a safe place to live, where they know they'll be well taken care of and well fed until they get reunited."

The most common reason children come into foster care, Willemsen said, is due to neglect.

"A major reason would probably be drug-related activities of the parents ... so they're neglecting the kids," she said. "And also when the economy goes down, reports of abuse and neglect go up."

Text Only
Wapello County
  • 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

  • 0520 OTT mushroom provided -T -M Hidden treasure

    OTTUMWA — Yes, it's kind of like winning the lottery. A mushroom hunter and her family cheerfully acknowledged that feeling after stopping by the Ottumwa Courier on Monday. In one lucky search, they'd found hundreds of morels totaling 10 pounds. As u

    May 19, 2014 1 Photo

AP National