AIKEN, Sc (WJBF)- “There are a lot of great kids that come to your home” said Lisa Franklin- Office Administrator,  South Carolina Foster Parent Association .

May is Foster Care Awareness month. Thousands of people become foster parents each year. But more help is needed. 

Lisa Franklin is the Office Administrator for the South Carolina Foster Parent Association. She’s been a foster parent for more than a decade. She says her mom and dad  started the association in the 70’s.

“Our First placement was actually a 19-year-old she had just turned 19 had been in foster care since she was like eight years old had never been adopted and I always wanted a family and  wanted to go to college” said Franklin.

Now, she works as a social worker for the department of social services.

Mary Helen Simons at Children’s Place in Aiken says their facility is continuing to provide therapy and mental health service for children and families.

She says most of them have come from the foster care system and experience trauma.

 “Some of our kids have had involvement with the department of  social services they may be in relative placement they may even be in foster care and it’s just really important some families aren’t able to provide the care and nurturing that that’s some kids need “  said Simons.

Foster care for young adults who turn 18 can also  be a difficult experience.

That’s why South Carolina has a new law that extends voluntary foster care  after their 18th birthday.

“I think it’s great because I do know that a lot of our youth when they do go out and if they do not have a support system and some kind of connection they are going to struggle ” said Franklin.

 “Going out on your own and launching from you know sort of into adulthood at 18 is scary even in the best of circumstances so for these kids that are in foster care to have extra support it’s just gonna be really important ” said Simons.

They also say they hope more families take the courage to foster a child in need.

For more information on becoming a foster parent and further services for children visit the Department of Social Services.