During May, Four Oaks Iowa KidsNet team member Chris Barnett will be walking across Iowa in celebration of National Foster Care Awareness Month to raise awareness for foster care and the need for foster and adoptive parents.
As he travels along his path “Foot’n it for Foster Care,” Chris will stop in various locations to help spread the word concerning the need for families to step up and open their homes to needy children. Through his work at Four Oaks, Chris has often witnessed the lack of available local foster homes to place a child in need. Chris will be leaving his home in Dubuque on May 3 and returning on May 31 after walking approximately 770 miles.
Chris’s passion for children in foster care can be traced back to his own childhood. He was brought up in a home of abuse and emotional maltreatment. His home environment eventually led to him being placed in foster care as a teen. Fortunately, Chris eventually experienced positive giving by others, which has served to motivate him along his career path and as a parent. Foster families, church members, and sometimes perfect strangers reached out to show him a different way to live. As an adult, Chris and his wife Jane have been foster parents to over 30 children, in addition to Chris’s work with foster and adoptive families at Four Oaks.
Chris welcomes community partnership and support as he travels throughout the state. He will be mapping his route and updating where he is each day of the walk on his website.
Four Oaks is the managing partner of Iowa KidsNet, a statewide collaboration of agencies working to create safe, permanent connections between children and families through foster care, adoption and reunification with birth families. Iowa KidsNet is the single statewide contact for Iowans interested in becoming foster parents or adopting from foster care.