By Justin Adams

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Foster parents are a special group of people that opens hearts to youth in need and gives them a safe space to call home. On Saturday, the Collaborative Foster Care Program hosted a drive-thru event to show their appreciation for the foster care parents in their program.

It was also around to raise awareness about foster care parenting.

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(credit: CBS)

“It’s just a really good way for us to love on them and tell them thank you remind them that what they’re doing is really important, and that they’re seen respected and heard,” said Lacey Settle, a recruiter with Collaborative Foster Care.

The drive-thru event was set up like a parade. Volunteers, County Commissioners from Arapahoe, Douglas and Jefferson County, as well as Dakota Ridge High School cheerleaders, all came out to celebrate as the foster care parents drove through the parade route, one by one.

(credit: CBS)

“We really just want them to walk away knowing that what they’re going is really important,” Settle said.

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Foster care parents are needed. Last year an average of ten children and youth entered foster care every day in Colorado. Currently, there are over 4,000 youth in foster care. In Douglas, Arapahoe, and Jefferson counties, 68 kids are looking for a home and most of them are teenagers.

In hopes of recruiting more foster care parents, the CFCP passed out a bumper sticker with the message “We Opened Our Heart and Our Home.” The hope is that people would see the message and respond to a call to open their homes for kids in need.

“We just want them to see that Foster Parents are just like every other parent. They are normal people and that really everyone can foster,” Settle said.

(credit: CBS)

To become a foster care parent all you need to do is be 21 or older. You can connect with the CFCP by visiting their website.

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“We try to build a community that’s warm and welcoming to all of our families. Where they can connect and support each other while they take care of kids from tough places,” said Jaalah Neerhof, a recruiter with Collaborative Foster Care.

Justin Adams