King Law gives back to community

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Law firm fundraiser donates $301 to foster care program

COLUMBUS — King Law Offices employees spent the summer raising money for Polk County’s Foster Care program.

All King Law Offices, including the one in Columbus, participated in a “Casual All Summer Long” fundraiser, where employees could dress down while raising money. King Law Marketing Coordinator Amanda Flontek said attorneys and staff in each office had the opportunity all summer to wear casual clothes and put a dollar into the fund.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

For every $50 raised, King Law matched that amount. The King Law office located in Columbus raised the most money.

“That office is thrilled to be able to support their community in a small way through the donating to Foster Care program, an entity that is supporting children living in the Polk County community,” Flontek said.

Polk County Department of Social Service Senior Program Administrator Kim Wilson said DSS is extremely appreciative of King Law’s donation. She said the fundraiser will allow foster care to do things for children it does not normally have the funding to do.

“They could have picked any program in the county and we are thankful they thought of us,” Wilson said.

Polk County’s Foster Care Program currently has 43 children in its care. Wilson said that number has been fluctuating in the past couple of months between 45 and 49 children, with a few children leaving the program in September.

There are currently 20 foster homes in Polk County, with others in the process of being licensed, Wilson said.

Reasons for children leaving the program include parents completing necessary steps to get their children back, children aging out and the program finding other suitable family members to care for the children. Foster children can stay past the age of 18 through a Foster Care 18-21 program.

Wilson said Polk County is able to offer that to 18 year olds if they so choose to stay in their foster homes between the ages of 18 and 21. For some, it is until they finish high school, others may want to go to college or a trade school, and some need to stay and work, Wilson said.

“It’s their decision,” Wilson said. “We offer it to every one of our teens, and start talking to them about it at ages 16 and 17.”

Many of Polk County’s foster children have to be housed outside the county because of the lack of local licensed foster homes, which is a similar problem across the state.

“We still struggle with having enough foster parents,” Wilson said. “That’s always a challenge.”

Wilson said some of Polk County’s older children are placed outside the county in group homes because it is hard to place teens locally.

Some children who have behavioral issues may also have to be placed in outside foster homes because Polk only has a couple of therapeutic foster care homes.

“We are very appreciative of the fundraiser,” Wilson said. “We appreciate so much folks who are willing to be involved with us.”

Wilson said there are other organizations who support the foster care program, including the upcoming Polk County Toy Run in November. She said people can support foster care in many ways without necessarily having to be a foster parent.

To learn more about the foster care program and on how to become a foster parent in Polk County, people may contact Ruth Richardson at DSS at 828-894-2100.