OGDEN -- There will never, ever be enough foster parents, and that is why about 20 people marched down 25th Street and planted 700 purple and white flags at the Municipal Building to celebrate National Foster Care Month.
Each flag represents a child who is currently in foster care in the Northern Region, which is from North Salt Lake to the Idaho border, said Brenda Durtschi, who finds foster adoptive families for Utah Foster Care Foundation. There are currently 350 foster families in the Northern Region.
Kristen and Robert Christy, of North Salt Lake, were pushing a stroller with two toddlers. Both the toddlers are in the foster care program.
"We love kids, but there are a lot of kids out there who need to feel safe and loved," Robert Christy said. "So we help care for the ones who are in foster care."
Kristen Christy said they are open to adoption. They have had three children placed in their home, and one went back to the parents.
Julie Bakker, of Kaysville, has adopted a child who was placed in her home as a foster child, and she helped a child who was placed in her home to return to her mother. Her family also has offered respite care to children in foster care.
Bakker, who has three sons who have autism, said one of her sons went to a booth at Farmington Festival Days and asked them what they did. For months before that, he kept asking his mom where his sister was, "and I told him we don't have a sister," Bakker said.
What her son learned at that booth, which happened to be the Utah Foster Care Foundation booth, was that children are placed in homes until they either can return to their families or are adopted.
"He said to them, 'Oh, you have my sister,'" Bakker said.
Two years ago the Bakker family adopted Annelise Joy, who is now 4.
"She is a real blessing," Bakker said. "There is a reason her middle name is 'Joy.' "
Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell joined the group for the walk.
His sister-in-law has brought children into their family through foster care.
"These kids need a stable home, and it's easier to raise decent kids than fix broken adults," Caldwell said.
Foster parents do not need to be a specific age, Durtschi said.
"The fact is, we will always need more families," she said. "A newborn baby may not fit in with a retired couple, and a teenager may not fit in with a young couple."
For more information about how to become a foster family or to donate, call 1-877-505-5437 or go to www.utahfostercare.org.