Rhinelander couple opens their home to foster childrenSubmitted: 12/13/2017
Story By Phylicia Ashley

Rhinelander couple opens their home to foster children
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander couple thought they were empty nesters. However, an experience volunteering made them open their doors back up to kids who need a temporary home.
The Zoerb's adult children moved out years ago. But at any moment they could get a call from social services that make them bring out their parenting skills for another round.
Rick and Danielle Zoerb work together as realtors putting people in homes that are the perfect fit. However, the husband and wife know their home can be a good fit for others too.
"There's no reason for kids to have to fall through the cracks," said Dani.
Rick met a child at a mentorship program a few years ago. It was a meeting that opened a new door for him and his wife.
"There was no hesitation on our part when we felt the situation was deteriorating for this young boy," said Rick. 

The boy didn't end up needing a foster home, but the couple registered with Oneida County to help others that do. Two years later they keep their name on the list to give other kids the same opportunity.
"They came into our lives obviously with a lot of trepidation, angst, uncertainty," said Rick.

The Zoerb's have taken in four girls for temporary stays since they started fostering two years ago. They've given a home for as few as 11 days and as long as four and half months.
"They had two parents to love them and guided them rather than just toss them out there," said Dani.
However, not every kid is so lucky, social services reports there are only eight licensed foster homes in Oneida County. Three are full and can't take any more kids and two only take in younger children, 23 kids stayed in foster homes this year.

The Zoerb's wanted their foster kids to experience a complete family even if it's not forever.
"Give them a difference sense of reality or what normal can be," said Danielle and Rick.
The Zoerb's still plan to keep doing their part.

Whether kids stay for 11 days or four months the Zoerb's hope each child remembers a piece of their past and the lifelong lessons from their temporary home.
"I always say I'm like the person on their shoulders saying make a good decision," said Danielle.
The Oneida County Social Services Department says their biggest struggle is placing siblings and teenagers. The limited amount of foster homes, also means some kids get placed outside of the county.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


Play Video

WITTENBURG - Michael and Deb Obernik tied the knot a month ago. Their love blossomed into 320 acres of hemp on their farm.

+ Read More

WISCONSIN DELLS, WIS. (AP) - Three Illinois men are dead after their sport utility vehicle collided with a pickup near Wisconsin Dells.

Columbia County sheriff's authorities say the men were in a Toyota 4Runner that collided with a Chevrolet Silverado at an intersection on State Highway 127 on Saturday.

Authorities say the Toyota SUV apparently failed to yield the right of way at a stop sign. The three men died at the scene. Authorities say they apparently were not wearing seat belts.

The 33-year-old woman who was driving the pickup was flown to UW Hospital. Her passenger, a 33-year-old man, was taken to another hospital.

Names and hometowns of the victims were not released.

+ Read More

Play Video

ANTIGO - People don't need to travel all over the world for international food. 

+ Read More

MADISON, WIS. (AP) - Madison officials say Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents violated city policy by detaining at least six immigrants without letting police know ahead of time.

Madison Police Chief Mike Koval says the department has a working relationship with ICE, but the federal agency did not follow protocol. Koval says ICE has agreed to call the assistant police chief before making arrests in Madison. This time the agency called the Dane County Communications Center.

Koval says the arrests were made at separate workplaces and are not considered to be part of a raid. He says the community is in "hyper-warp distress mode."

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin says ICE told city officials the people arrested are believed to have committed serious crimes, but he does not know the specifics of the investigation.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Kids ran throughout the Woodpecker Bar and Grill in Rhinelander on Saturday for the third annual Harvest Hoedown.

+ Read More

16-year-old Angel Marie Simonson was found safe in Marshfield according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice. 

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - A man died after a house fire in Rhinelander on Friday night.

According to a press release from the Rhinelander Police Department, Rhinelander police and firefighters responded to the fire at 320 Rose Street near Hodag Park around 7:30 p.m.  

Firefighters went inside the house soon after they arrived and found an unresponsive man on the floor.  Firefighters and paramedics tried to revive the man, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here