Georgia's First Lady Visits Valdosta

Georgia's first lady was in our area Wednesday encouraging more people to become foster parents. Mary Perdue has some first hand reasons why people should help Georgia's needy children.

Georgia's First Lady Mary Perdue told a crowd in Valdosta on Wednesday that more foster parents are needed in the Peach State.

"We are in a time in Georgia, where we are not and have not being doing the very best job for children, I think there's a bad image of children in foster care."

And Mrs. Perdue hopes to help change that image with her "Our Children" campaign. She's very proud to support the effort to find more foster parents because she and Governor Perdue have been foster parents to eight different infants over the years, and the first lady says her efforts are just as important in south Georgia as in other areas of the peach state.

"The situation in south Georgia is really no different than what it is in the rest of the state. There are children in need in every county, every corner of the state."

Local child advocates say having Georgia's first lady really helps draw attention, and hopefully more foster parents.

Laurie Bajalia from Children's Advocacy Center of Valdosta says, "She said, 'Hey, I'm going to draw attention to child abuse’ and that means a lot, I think people are going to listen more because its her, and I think they'll listen more because she's been a foster parent."

Any one in Georgia can apply to become a foster parent by contacting the state's Department of Families and Children. In Florida, call the Department of Children and Families.