Dani Jones

Dani Jones, right, discusses foster care with U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt during a round table on June 30 at Northroads Church in Moscow Mills.

Moscow Mills, Mo. - The foster care system in Lincoln County was the main topic on hand on a rainy Wednesday morning at Northroads Church.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt discussed the subject with foster parents and Lincoln County representatives on June 30 in a relaxed round-table setting. Within the conversation, he spoke on funding efforts he has worked on with fellow Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) on mental health care within the foster system.

“I do think our community behavioral health centers have done a great job helping our youth, even though they were stressed last year, due to COVID,” Blunt said.

Dani Jones represents Divine Nest, a faith-based nonprofit that helps foster children and their families, as well as provides adoption services and parenting support. She is also a foster mother.

“We want all our foster families to be successful, so we provide support groups, food and other things,” she said.

In addition to mental health services, broadband services were a key topic of conversation during the talk. Blunt said rural areas have for too long been ignored for broadband – and that needs to change.

“We’re going to have a serious discussion about affordability (for broadband) – and not just Netflix,” the second-term senator said. “We’re going to have to talk about everyone in rural areas of the state can afford broadband, because this is like the telephone in this era.

Blunt also commended the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Fulton v. Philadelphia decision, which favored faith-based foster-care nonprofits such as Divine Nest.

“What we heard today (during the round table talk) that parents take faith really important,” he said. “The Supreme Court decision was a good decision, and places like Divine Nest are exactly what we need to give our young children permanent and safe homes.”

Currently, Divine Nest operates out of the church, but Jones and Divine Nest have plans to build a gym next to Northroads Church, with the membership fees going to support the nonprofit.

“(The gym) is not just for our foster and adoptive parents,” Jones said. “We want the entire Lincoln County community to use it.”