Lack of Foster Families an Issue for Pontotoc County Children - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Lack of Foster Families an Issue for Pontotoc County Children

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ADA, OK--The state of Oklahoma is facing a foster care dilemma--not enough homes for the thousands of kids who need families. One Texoma town is no exception to that problem.

Almost every day, the Department of Human Services removes children from unstable homes.

"It's not their fault," said child welfare specialist Shelley Gaines. "But their parents have chosen to do something to put them at risk. We have to protect them."

The number of children who need foster families grows by the year. The statistics are skyrocketing in Oklahoma.

Gaines says the need for available homes is great. Right now in Ada, there are 130 children who need foster families, and almost 12,000 in Oklahoma.

"We are at a desperate stage," said Gaines. "We are picking up so many children, and we don't have enough homes to put them in."

Currently, there are only about 70 foster homes in Pontotoc County. Many Ada locals are backing the cause and confronting the issue, like foster mother Courtney Folsom.

"It's not about me," said Folsom. "If I can do something for a little bit to show these children love. Why not?"

Former middle-school coach Ryan Brecheen just took a job with TFI Family Services--a child welfare organization that helps provide foster families to children in need.

Brecheen said: "When you actually take in a foster child, you're not only stopping that cycle of abuse. You're actually affecting generations."

Gaines says it's time for parents to step up to the plate.

"We need Oklahoma families to step up and care for our Oklahoma children," she said.

DHS tells us, while they can't make promises, they do their best to keep siblings together.

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a foster parent in Pontotoc County, you are asked to contact DHS. For those wanting to hear more about the program, Trinity Baptist Church is hosting an informational meeting during their morning service on May 18.