MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - In most of our local counties, the number of children in need of a foster home is higher than the number of homes available.
Last month, 363 children were in foster care here in the Midland and Odessa area.
But there are only 74 foster homes between the two cities which means that some of these kids are being sent out of the region as far as Houston or San Antonio.
When a child is removed from a home, temporarily or permanently, the goal is to place that child with a foster family in their home county.
The Permian Basin has more foster children than homes to place them in - some counties in our region have no foster homes at all.
Executive director for the Attic Foster Network, Matt Waller, says that when a child is sent out of their home county, they lose the connections they’ve made.
“They lose connection with the significant relationships they have around them. So they lose connection. Let’s say they go to a church; they will lose connection with their church members. They’re going to lose connections with their neighbors. They’re going to lose connection with the extended family that they might have in the area,” said Waller.
The children aren’t the only ones suffering when it comes to a lack of foster homes.
CPS foster adoption worker, Jeremy Salgado, says that parents are given visitation privileges when a child is removed from their home.
But some of those parents don’t have the means to travel hundreds of miles to see their kids.
“There are those parents that have the means to make these trips to these visits that they are entitled to. Some parents don’t have that ability. They don’t have the support that they need to get them from here to Houston, to the other side of Texas. It does make it a little bit difficult for the parent’s side,” said Salgado.
Salgado says that the Department for Family and Protective Services usually holds recruiting events to get more foster families, but the pandemic has put those on hold.
To become a foster parent, parents have to attend an informational meeting, fill out an application, and then complete 30 hours of training over a five-week training course.
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