Anna's House Foundation
Written By Brittany Panko
These are the priorities of Anna’s House Foundation. There are 11,000 children in state custody in Oklahoma, and 2,500 of them are in Oklahoma County. Over half of these children are under the age of six. For all 11,000 of these children, there are only 2,500 foster homes across the state and less than 500 in Oklahoma County. These children have a lack of stability and affection in their lives and foster families try to fill that void, but there simply are not enough of them. Fifty percent of these foster children have moved more than three times and 50 percent of them are separated from their siblings once they enter the foster care system. This is where Anna’s House steps in.
Anna’s House is a faith-based organization whose mission is to provide immediate, stable and loving homes for Oklahoma County’s children in state custody.
Darci Oplotnik, executive director at Anna’s House Foundation, said, “Every child is different, and Anna’s House Foundation is providing a stable living environment for these children. These families build hope for the children and open their homes for any length of time.”
Anna’s House is a residential community of support, training and resources in a Christian setting. The organization's main goal is to recruit and support Christian families who open their homes at a moment’s notice to give immediate shelter, comfort and love to the children who need it most.
“The goal is to support foster parents as well by providing support, both emotional and tangible. Anna’s House Foundation provides beds, car seats, clothing — whatever the parents need for their foster kids. They also provide reimbursement because they want the children to be able to participate in whatever they are interested in, like gymnastics or other sports or organizations. Even though foster parents need to be financially stable, this helps them to allow the child to participate,” said Oplotnik. “The emotional part is helping them to know what their rights as foster parents are, and an Anna’s House representative goes to court with them as well. They look out for the best interests of the child.”
Anna’s House actively tries to keep siblings together, or at least in the same community.
The organization saw a need in the community and strives to fill that gap daily to better the lives of the children in need of love. It takes a truly special person or couple to open their home to a foster child, and Anna’s House Foundation believes that these people are called upon to do so.
“There is no ‘correct’ set of experiences it takes to become a foster parent. It takes a lot to care for these children, and [foster families] need to come in with hearts to serve,” said Oplotnik.
Not everyone is called upon to open their homes, but there are other ways to support and care for these children. You can become a volunteer who prepares meals or plays with the children. You can become an alternate caregiver where you will become certified to take care of a foster child for short periods —up to two weeks— if there is an emergency or the foster parents are taking a vacation as a couple. You can also show support by giving monetary donations or by donating items the foundation is in need of like diapers, equipment, linens and clothing. However you choose to get involved, you will be making a difference for a child in Oklahoma County.
For more information, visit their website at AnnasHouseFoundation.org.