State lawmakers invited hundreds of faith leaders to the Texas State Capitol on Wednesday for the 2016 Faith Leader Summit. They discussed ways in which they can help the thousands of children and teens in the foster care system.
This summit comes one month after Texas Governor Greg Abbott urged the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to reach out to the faith community for help in finding good foster families.
"I'm excited about the governor's vision to bring the faith community and the state together," Kile Bateman said.
Bateman founded a program called Phased In which connects young adults who are too old for foster care with housing and education. He's here today from north Texas to network with people who share his vision.
"It's a collaborative effort that takes more than a village," Bateman said. "It takes a nation."
Cara Griswold agrees. Griswold and her husband have four kids, three of them they adopted through foster care.
"They came into our homes almost exactly five years ago," Griswold said.
The Griswolds decided to become foster parents after their church called on them to help.
"Our hearts just broke," Griswold said. "I mean the number of kids who are just right here in our neighborhood."
They opened their hearts and home to three biological sisters and their life has changed for the better.
"They've learned how to trust and how to attach," Griswold said.
It's something she wants for more children and wishes more people would help the nearly 30,000 children and teens under CPS care in Texas.
She says that foster parenting isn't always easy, but it's the most rewarding things she's ever done.