While the numbers mostly tell the same story we feel it is for the sake of the children that are hundreds of miles away that we want to keep beating this drum.
It is still the case that over half of our children in foster care are in a home or institution outside of our 30 county region and over 90% are placed outside of their home county. We have said it before and will say it again that this is devastating for a family and can be crippling for a child. Below you can see how your county fared.
At the Restore Texas Families gathering we recently saw statistics reflect the number of children removed for each county and the available homes with foster licenses. You can see, the by county breakdown shows that Midland is close to catching up to the amount of removals. While many will look at this and think that the problem is not as dire in Midland, those in child welfare know that that is just simply not how it works. Across the nation large cities and urban areas provide the services and foster homes needed for the more rural areas. Midland foster homes care for children all over the region. Further, it bears calling out that Gaines and Howard County have more foster homes than children are removed. While this is a success that should be celebrated, there is still a crisis in those counties as those homes do not exclusively serve children from those counties and those homes are likely not licensed to take the children with higher needs.
That all said, we think it is safe to look at our overall need of the Permian Basin to truly illuminate the need. We currently only have 187 homes to care for the 456 children removed in the Permian Basin.
Bottom line…we need to increase the number and diversity of foster homes in the Permian Basin. Those fostering basic children might consider taking on a moderate license. Those licensed for respite might think about getting licensed to foster. Those Foster Family Babysitters might consider getting licensed to respite. Those providing support for foster families might consider becoming a Foster Family Babysitter. And those that don’t know how to get involved but want to start here. Reach out for a phone call and join us in May for our All In Foster/Adopt Awareness Concert featuring Mark Schultz.
Here is the story run by CBS7 after publishing: