LUTHER, Okla. – It’s often a traumatic situation when children are taken from the only home they know and placed in state custody.
Now, a new neighborhood of sorts is helping make that transition a little easier for Oklahoma foster children.
The first home in this community is almost done.
It’s an idea The Anna’s House Foundation has had for years and they are now watching as it becomes a reality.
It’s a place where children who are taken into state custody can immediately go to be cared for and where foster families can gain support for those children and each other.
At the home site, the landscape is bare and dust still covers the floors, but in the next two weeks the house will transform into a home, ready to take in Oklahoma foster children.
Darci Oplotnik, executive director of The Anna’s House Foundation, said, “These families will know that the kids will be coming at a moments notice. It could be in the middle of the night, late Friday’s. Just as soon as they are picked up.”
Oplotnik says the goal is to provide immediate placement for children up to the age of 6-years-old who are taken into state custody.
She said, “Being removed from the home is very traumatic and being taken into a loving, stable, nurturing home is ideal for these kids.”
The Anna’s House dream is slowly becoming a reality on 10 acres of donated land in Luther.
Oplotnik said, “This community should be able to care for over 1,000 kids a year.”
The first home, built by Dodson Custom Homes, is one of eight which will eventually fill the land.
A playground and community center are also planned.
It is a $3 million project which is being funded through donations.
As for the families, Darci says they will be chosen carefully.
The families will be tasked with providing stability and love to children who have been taken by the state.
The families will be required to go through all the required training by the Department of Human Services.
Oplotnik said, “These are families that feel like it is really a calling to be a foster parent.”
Anna’s House is ready to start the second home, although they can always use donations to help in the project.
They are hoping to build at least one home a year.
A ribbon cutting ceremony for the first home will be held on Nov. 9.
The Anna’s House Foundation accepts monetary donations as well as donations of clothing, furniture, toys, car seats, cribs, high chairs and any other item which a family may need to care for the foster children they welcome into their homes.
You can find more information on The Anna’s House Foundation and the Anna’s House community on its website.