Mentoring young boys into manhood

7:37 PM, Oct 29, 2009   |    comments
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Jack Payne

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Zephyrhills, Florida -- Jack Payne is getting a work out tossing the football around with 13-year-old Daniel.

This is what a lot of young boys enjoy doing with their father. But Jack isn't Daniel's biological father.  He is Daniel's foster dad.

Jack has been fostering young boys who need role models for several years now.   He says he enjoys it because it's rewarding and it's also a challenge.

Jack says, "These types of kids really appeal to me, because they are challenging and of course I like a challenge."

It's also a big challenge finding families in the community who will foster teens.  A number of foster families prefer children who are younger and infants.

But Jack and his girlfriend Lucy have made it their mission to make sure teens have a good home.  Lucy says working together as a team with Jack is ideal.

She says, "There is never a dull moment. We learn something from them every day and they learn something from us. It's entertaining and it's a lot of fun."

Part of that fun includes enjoying sports.  Lucy is in a household full of guys.  She jokes that even the hamsters are boys.

Jack is a big baseball fan.  There is baseball memorabilia just about everywhere in their home.  Jack says baseball is a great metaphor for life and what some kids in foster care go through.

He says, "A batter who bats .300 is considered a really good baseball player, so three out of ten times at bat they are successful.  Seven out of ten times they fail. It's picking up the pieces and understanding what's happened in order to gain that confidence again and hopefully get that hit."

Jack and Lucy say they hope to give these kids the chance they need to hopefully one day hit a home run.

If you would like to learn more about becoming a foster parent you can call the Foster Parent Recruitment Line at 1-866-233-0790.

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