"We have 670 children and only 30 foster parents in this area," she said.
The 135-year-old organization, with 16 facilities throughout Kentucky, is based in Mount Washington, Ky. The KBHC network includes seven residential facilities that house children waiting to be placed in foster care. The organization stresses the fact that neither children nor foster parents need to be Baptist.
"People think that because of the name of our organization," said Holbrook. "But anyone can be foster parents as long as they meet our qualifications."
To be a foster parent, one must meet the following criteria:
â?¢ Be at least 24 years old;
â?¢ High school diploma or equivalent;
â?¢ Must reside in a home that meets safety and cleanliness standards.
Once a child is placed in a foster home, KBHC continues to be a strong presence in the family, making home visits, frequent telephone calls, and arranging monthly respite care for foster parents so they can spend time alone, or with their biological children.
"Also, social workers are available 24 hours a day, and our case load is much lighter than state workers with a ratio of 12 kids to a social worker, compared to the state's 36 kids per social worker. So we are able to provide much better support for our parents."
Also, KBHC provides monthly financial reimbursement to help foster parents meet the physical and material needs of their foster child. Contributions from private donors help provide Christian camps, food, clothing, school supplies, Christmas gifts and special activities.
The Kennisons say that though being a foster parent is a challenge, it is also very rewarding.
"It's a good feeling, being able to help out," David Kennison said. "We have an opportunity to show the kids what life can give them."
Of course, there is the downside, such as discipline problems, and having to gain the trust of the foster child, many of which have been abused.
"But finally getting that trust, and seeing it in their eyes, is worth more than words can say," Christy Kennison said.
For more information about becoming a foster parent for KBHC, call (800) 493-2303 or in Lexington, 859-245-3239.
Editor's note: The children can't be named because they are juveniles in the foster care system.