Foster care parents needed for kids in Pine Belt

According to MDCPS 4,707 children in our State. Only 2,578 licensed foster homes.

Foster care parents needed for kids in Pine Belt

MISSISSIPPI (WDAM) - The Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services tells WDAM that at last check there were 4,707 children in MDCPS custody.

Records also show there are 2,578 licensed foster homes in our state. Right here in Mississippi at least 4,500 children are in foster care.

But just over 2,500 are foster homes leaving some children without a place to stay.

“We have children all over the state that, for one reason or another are not able to safely live in their homes," Brandon said.

Lea Anne Brandon, Director of Communications for the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services, gave us a rundown of what makes you eligible if you want to help change that number.

“We’re looking for someone who has the time and the heart to commit to these children and to address their needs and just to love on them, Brandon said. “It can be a single adult or it could be a married couple."

Foster care parents are expected to provide a safe environment. To do so, parents must be a legal Mississippi resident.

Plus, they must pass a background check, be at least 21 years old, and legally married or single.

Have no more than four children living at home and financially self-supported.

Licensure Supervisor Larisa Riley hopes to see an increase of parents for children in the Pine Belt.

“A lot of kids in custody, and we need a lot more good families that are willing to take our kids," Riley said. “We have children, especially large sibling groups, and children of color. It’s very hard to find families that are willing to take those groups.”

Some children that are most in need of stable foster homes include teens, sibling groups and young mothers.

To help foster children in the Pine Belt, it’s only a click of a button and a few steps to complete the application.

According to the website, foster parents are individuals or married couples who complete the steps to become licensed to serve as caretakers for foster children.

They work with birth families and hope changes are made that will allow the children to return to a safe home.

Foster parents may choose to adopt the children if this is not possible.

These families provide a safe and stable environment for children who may be experiencing stress and trauma from recent life changes.

They receive a monthly reimbursement to help offset the cost of caring for children. Social workers visit the home on a regular basis to provide services and support to the children and family.

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