DENVER (CBS4) – On average, 14 children go into foster care every day in Colorado. Most of them need temporary care while their parents address their own problems. Foster families provide that crucial care, and one Denver family in particular specializes in it.
“Every kiddo that comes in our door, we love them like they’re our own kids,” said Ann Perricone, a certified foster mother.
For more than 11 years, Ann Perricone and her husband, Mario, have seen some 50 children come and go from their home.
“It’s a lot of satisfaction in knowing that we play a pretty vital roll in what we do. And it’s shaping the kids that we come in contact with,” Mario Perricone said.
The family may have a child for as little as one day, or as much as a couple of years, but they say that both sides benefit.
“For the most part, I think if they feel, if we can help them feel like they have a support system, then it’s not as bad,” Mario explained.
“We really get so much in return from these kids,” Ann told CBS4.
The Perricones say that it was never a part of the plan to adopt any of their foster children.
“We have always said, ‘We do this to enhance our lives, not to expand our family,’” Ann explained.
When Angela heard that, she was relieved. Her son stayed with the Perricone’s when he was a baby. Angela needed some time to get out of homelessness and kick a drug habit.
“He had fabulous foster parents, and I was able to take of me, and do what I needed to do,” she told CBS4.
Angela and her son are thriving now, and they still keep in touch with the Perricones.
“When a parent has worked a treatment plan and that child, or those children, are able to go home…is probably the best gift we can all get,” Ann said.
This family celebrates every child who moves on to a loving, stable home. Colorado’s Department of Human Services needs more families to take in foster children. Right now there are 2,231 children in the foster care system and there are only 2,000 certified foster families.