Travis and Shelly Keller began their mission in Foster Care in 2013. They have continuously fostered siblings sets working towards reintegration, kinship placement and adoption, along with providing short-term, emergency placement, and respite care. Shelly stated, “You never who God is going to place in your life, so we got licensed for ages 0-18, to foster or adopt, with no limits on the type of placements we would accept. We also knew from day one that to us, ‘fostering’ doesn’t just mean taking care of children. We want to foster relationships with everyone involved in the kids’ lives, and we’ve been so blessed with families that allow us to do that.”
Travis and Shelly establish positive relationships with biological families as soon as children enter their home. The Kellers build lasting relationships by sending pictures, texts, regular updates, and personalized crafts while children are in placement. They work with families to help meet any unmet need and continue to support families and maintain those relationships long after they leave the Kellers’ home. “We get invited to birthday parties, dance recitals, sports, graduations… we even go on vacations and spend holidays together. We’re so thankful that it doesn’t just end when a child leaves our home. We still have contact with every full-time placement we’ve had. We get to see them grow up.”
The Kellers met with their church, North Oak Community Church in Hays, about starting a foster care mission in 2018. During the Advent season, the team received over $25,000 in monetary donations to promote foster care awareness, encourage current foster families and workers, and assist homes in getting the materials or repairs needed to meet DCF Licensing Regulations. Since twin-sized beds are the most requested item, volunteers built 50 wooden beds. Each recipient receives a bed, mattress, box springs, mattress pad, pillow, set of sheets, handmade blankets, a duffle bag, and a Children’s Bible. The Kellers’ church also hosted a free event called “Fostering Growth in Foster Families” where kinship and foster families received a day of training, encouragement, family entertainment, pampering, and a gift basket. Funds are also available to assist people that want to become licensed foster care providers.