A south Fulton County foster parent is sharing her personal story to encourage others to consider fostering and to bring awareness to National Foster Care Month in May.

Caretha Clifton of Atlanta always had a curiosity about becoming a foster parent. “My family considered doing it for years but when my best friend became a foster parent, I did more research and decided to try it out.” Clifton started her foster journey two and half years ago and said that it is the most rewarding experience she has had so far in her life.

Clifton first intended to foster an older pair of siblings but was surprised when an agency contacted her about fostering a two month old baby boy. “It’s about learning and adjusting together. He brings so much joy not only to me but everyone that he is around. He always has a smile on his face.”

After hearing alarming information and statistics on the number of children in Georgia that do not have a home, Clifton said she hopes other people in the metro-Atlanta area will step up to help out. “My advice for anyone that is curious or is just starting the process of fostering is to be open and use whatever resources you have available. I have a lot of support from family and a close friend that is also a foster parent. We can rely on each other and help each other.”

According to local nonprofit Wellroot Family Services, a focus on support through programs that help children from childhood throughout their adulthood and services for foster parents is vital for success.

The nonprofit offers intensive support programs, transitional and independent living and housing and financial assistance for families on the verge of homelessness.

Clifton said she will continue to promote fostering because it can truly turn a bad situation into one that is positive for a child. “I feel like I am making a difference in someone’s life,” she said.

For more information, visit www.wellroot.org.