Demand for Hennepin County Foster Care Parents Reaches “Epidemic Proportions”
May is National Foster Care month and Hennepin County needs more qualified parents.
There are an estimated 2,000 children in the county’s foster care system, a 30 percent rise in the last three years. Officials at Bethany Christian Services in Plymouth are calling that increase an epidemic and hope more families step up.
“Our greatest need right now is for older youth and sibling groups,” said Bethany’s Shari Ley. “We have a lot of young families who are interested in fostering babies and infants and little ones. But really our heart is to find more placements for those older kids that need stable homes.”
Foster care is about family preservation.
The goal is to get kids in a stable situation and then reunite them with their family once things become more settled on the home front.
In 2018, 58 percent of foster children were reunited with their families.
Who can be foster parents?
Advocates say a potential foster parent can be married or single, a homeowner or a renter. There is training for those with no parenting experience.
There is also a need for a more diverse pool of foster parents. In 2017, 55 percent of kids in foster care were minorities, but only 30 percent of foster families were non-white.
Some kids need foster care for a few days, some for a few years.
For more info go to www.bethany.org.