Alabama sees increase in adoptions, decrease in foster children
TALLAPOOSA COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - Hundreds of Alabama children and teenagers are up for adoption in the new year. Even more need a foster home to escape potentially dangerous situations.
“I can tell you in Tallapoosa County there is a need,” said Tallapoosa County Department of Human Resources Director Brenda Floyd.
It is a need for a safe place to stay. There are about 50 to 60 children in the area’s foster care system a month but only about two dozen foster homes.
“So that tells you just how great a need there is in this county because we want to keep these children together,” Floyd said. “We want to keep them in their county.”
The same need is being felt across the state. Right now, there are around 5,900 children in the foster care system, and nearly half of them come from families struggling with substance abuse.
“They may be, you know, leaving the child at home alone for extended periods of time,” said Karen Smith, the Deputy Commissioner for Children and Family Services for the Alabama Department of Human Resources. “They may take the child to a drug home.”
While most of these kids can reunite with their biological families – some can’t. Currently, 377 young people are in permanent custody and are up for adoption. They are waiting for loving families.
“A family can be, you know, blood, or it can be friends,” Smith said. “It’s your circle. It’s those that are going to protect you.”
While the need is present, DHR is happy to report an increase in adoptions and decrease in the number of kids in foster care during this pandemic.
“I just give all the credit to that, to these local County Department of Human Resources,” Smith added.
As staff members offer foster care training classes and raise awareness in the communities they cover.
“Fostering is a wonderful experience, but it’s not for everyone, and whether our foster parents are with us a short time, or for many, many years – because we do have one foster family whose been with us probably more than 20 years, and they have fostered many children – They can serve a purpose,” Floyd added.
Those interested can view photos and bios of young people up for adoption on heartgalleryalabama.com.
Additional details on foster care and the adoption process are also available on dhr.alabama.gov.
There are also opportunities to sponsor children, perhaps on their birthdays. This can be arranged through your local county office.
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