Cumberland needs more foster families to take in children who need a place to stay, and the county has a recruitment campaign to try and grow the numbers.
That was the message to the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners on Monday as it heard an update on the county’s foster family recruitment campaign.
The Department of Social Services is collaborating with the county’s Public Information office to build awareness and create opportunities for more foster families to support the county’s current 733 homeless children with its “Not Perfect…Just Willing” campaign.
Of that total number, 275 homeless children have been placed out of the county and 42 have been placed out of state because there are not enough mental health or behavioral facilities to meet their needs locally, according to Delores Long, the assistant director of Social Services.
“Five years ago, we had 111 family foster homes right here in Cumberland County,’’ Long said. “As of today, we only have 51. While I am very pleased to say that our number of foster children has reduced, unfortunately, the percentage of children out of the county and state is just as great but we do not have as many foster homes in the county to actually serve our children.”
The Department of Social Services plans to have an informational table at the Health Department during the “Vax Your Vet, Vax Yourself 2.0” event March 26 with the goal of obtaining 115 foster homes in the county, Long said.
The board went into closed session for about 45 minutes for an economic development matter and to discuss confidential information.
Keyona Smith covers Cumberland County government for CityView TODAY. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.