theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

July 11, 2013

Play to spotlight state, local foster care needs

James Tillison The Ada News Intern
www.theadanews.com

Ada —

Lack of foster homes with an increase of children in foster care is an issue for not only Ada but the state of Oklahoma. 

To combat the problem, the Church of the Nazarene is performing a play titled Pinballs at McSwain Theatre July 12-13. Tickets purchased in advance are $5 for adults and $3 for students but will increase on the day of the show to $7 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets can be bought by calling 580-332-5857.

Shan Scroggins, a member of the church and drama teacher at Byng High School, proposed the idea and is directing the play. “All the construction of the set and all the actors are coming from the Church of the Nazarene,” said Scroggins. 

Ada Church of the Nazarene has witnessed what happens when a family begins to break and children are sent into foster care according to Scroggins. After being astonished with how long it took for one child to be taken in by foster parents, Scroggins and his wife decided to take the child in. 

After experiencing this firsthand it made not only Scroggins, but also the Church of the Nazarene, understand what an overwhelming situation Ada and the rest of the Pontotoc County have fallen into. 

That is what led Scroggins and his church to put on this play. The Department of Human Services is showing its support to the project by setting up a booth at the theatre to answer any questions and help start registration for anyone willing to become a foster parent.

DHS agents Sherry Meyer and Shelly Gaines are working with Scroggins. When asked about foster care, they said, “We have more children than we have homes. We have children that need a home now. All over the state not just here. 

“We get emails from workers every day, 10-15 a day, saying please do you have a home, we need a home. We have these children sitting in an office and we don’t have a place for them. It is a dire need state wide.”

Meyer and Gaines stressed that foster parents do not have to be perfect, they just have to love the kids.

The ultimate goal of foster care is to get the children back to their parents after resolving any issue that caused the child to be taken. “We need parents with hearts big enough to love these children and give them back to their parents,” Gaines said. 

Scroggins said, “Foster care is really more of a band-aid for that. My overall hope is that people can start to understand the importance of caring for each other and recognizing that families are really important.”