There has been an alarming increase in Kentucky concerning the number of children being removed from their homes for abuse and neglect. According to a recent article in The Courier Journal, over 8,000 children have been removed from their homes for reasons ranging from a parent’s drug abuse to domestic violence in the home. This increase, which is close to an all time high for our state, adds to the already heavy loads carried by social workers and urges a need for more foster homes in Kentucky.
The state uses about 3,500 foster homes with private agencies licensing approximately 3,200 additional homes, but it is simply not enough.
The average age of a child entering foster care for the first time in Kentucky is 6.8 years. These children will spend almost 30 percent of their lives in foster care according to Department of Community Based Services (DCBS) Statewide Foster Care FACTS.
So, what can average Kentuckians do to help?
1. Spread the word. Begin by getting the information out there about this nationwide epidemic. With increased awareness comes increased opportunities to help make a difference. Follow us on Facebook to stay informed about foster care needs in Kentucky.
3. Consider becoming a respite care provider. Respite care providers are similar to babysitters or childcare providers – but for foster families! Contact KVC for more information on providing respite.
4. Donate. Children in foster care often come into care with very little personal belongings – especially if it is their first time entering the foster care system. Donating your children’s gently used clothes, toys, or school supplies helps take some of the financial stress off of the foster parents.
5. Volunteer. Take advantage of volunteer opportunities at an event or in one of our offices. Reach out to us to let us know about your interest and how you would like to become involved.
Ever wondered what you need to look for when choosing a foster care agency? This free eBook is the ultimate resource for finding the best agency to support you in your foster parenting journey. Click the image to download it now!
About KVC Kentucky. KVC Kentucky, headquartered in Lexington, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit child welfare and behavioral healthcare organization that provides behavioral health services, foster care, family preservation and diversion, and other family-related services.