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| 1 minute read

The Main Reason We Don't Have Enough Foster Families

As we close out National Foster Care Month, I want to look at two news articles that came out the same day in April.  In the first, the reporters looked at the number of children in Idaho in short-term rentals and the need for more foster care options.  According to the state foster care agency, “there was a shortage of available foster homes across the state, forcing workers to send children to facilities out of state and to use short-term rentals.”

In the second article, published in the same outlet on the same day, long-time foster parents in Idaho explain why they are no longer willing to foster and why they "tell them to stay away."  The gist of the complaint is that, after they accepted a child with the intention to adopt and made strong connections, the agency removed the child with two days notice.  As the parents point out, everyone in the family has suffered grief from the experience.  "Our daughter was sad asking where's my brother? Every now and then she still asks... saying I wish I had my brother back."

Of course, the brother uprooted from his second home was not available for comment.  

It's a reminder that, if foster care agencies really want more foster parents, they have to treat them with respect and fairness.  Few people will voluntarily sign up with an organization that treats them as a fungible commodity and ignores the human costs of agency decisions.

Gayle said she got a call from a caseworker quickly. She said, "She just started telling me about this little boy that's already in a foster home, but they didn't want to adopt and he needed a pre-permanency family." With the intention of permanency, the connections they made were strong, but after over 18 months full of difficulties and disagreements with case workers and officials, their foster son was taken away, with two days' notice.


foster care, youth services law, ausburn_deborah, current events, insights