Ga. Governor Brian Kemp announces campaign to promote foster care

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 7:46 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is expanding efforts to attract more foster care parents in the Peach State.

Larry Young once was a foster kid. So it’s no surprise there’s a special place in his heart for those who find themselves in the same shoes he once wore.

Young and his wife are foster parents, and they have six biological children, with intentions to add another toddler they currently foster soon. Family is a concept that Governor Kemp is trying to encourage more people to embrace.

His office announced a marketing campaign to increase the number of foster parents across the state.

Something that is desperately needed because hundreds of foster kids are living in hotels because there are not enough foster parents.

“The hope is always to one, protect the child, and make sure that children are safe and that they have a home.”, said Young. “I really genuinely hope that it will help more people step up to the call.”

According to Carmen Overton, the Executive Director of Clement Arts, a local foster care resource in Columbus, more foster parents are desperately needed. Unfortunately, the problem could only worsen in the Chattahoochee Valley as more kids enter the foster care system.

She said there are about 14,000 foster kids across the state and, locally, 500 in the Chattahoochee valley.

A lot of times, these kids don’t have anywhere to go. The older ones find themselves in a hotel room in the area with a case worker supervising.

It’s an issue that I’m told this campaign will help fix. According to Overton, that’s only supposed to be a temporary fix, but that does not always end up being the case.

“They’re living in a hotel because, unfortunately that’s the only place for them to be housed safely. A lot of times, foster families sign up, and they want younger children, or they want babies, and so a lot of times, it can be difficult to find placement for teenagers.”, said Overton. “Those children can be a little bit harder to place because a lot of times foster families sign up and they want younger children, or they want babies. So sometimes it can be really difficult to find a placement for teenagers. The only option left sometimes is for that child to go into hotel rooms.”

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