Children needing foster homes reaches alarming high - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Children needing foster homes reaches alarming high

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

An alarming number of children entering the state of Georgia's child welfare system is concerning Muscogee County leaders and human services workers.

"We have had this dramatic increase in foster care kids, we are trying to come up with some recommendations," said Rev. Richard Jesse.

On Friday, judges, officials with the Division of Family and Children Services, and other community resource leaders met in Columbus to discuss why the amount of children in the care of the state has risen at an alarming rate.

In 2012, there were about 150 kids from Muscogee County in the child welfare system each day, spiking to 530 today. Leaders point to a number of reasons why.

"Environmental factors, poverty, and unemployment, social isolation, and social support," said DFCS Region 8 Director Marva Reed.

Exacerbating the large number of children in need is the low number of foster and adoptive parents stepping up. Officials explained that many children who enter the system may not fit the young and healthy baby mold that parents may want to care for.

"There aren't a lot of people out there that want kids that are self-injurers, there are not a lot of people out there that want anything other than your normal child," said Reed.

Officials from DFCS say new financial resources from the state of Georgia are helping them in developing more foster homes. They add that, even though the need for foster and permanent homes is urgent, it will not in any way deter their extensive application process to ensure that children go into safe homes.

Officials will meet again in March to continue to unite their resources as they look for more solutions.

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