Officials Are In Need Of Foster Parents

By: Jeff Allen Email
By: Jeff Allen Email

Officials in one eastern Kentucky county say there are not enough foster parents.

Right now in Harlan County, social service officials say there are simply not enough foster parents to take care of the nearly 100 children in foster care.

“So we have a dire need for more foster homes in Harlan County,” Terry Nelson, Social Service Clinician said.

Officials say many children are taken from their parents thanks to the growing drug epidemic.

When it comes to finding a better home, officials have to place nearly two thirds of Harlan County foster kids into homes outside the county.

“They were being pulled up, taken away from their friends, taken out of their communities, taken away from their churches, their support system, taken off our athletic teams. We didn't know where these kids were being moved out to,” Brent Roark said.

Harlan County school officials soon realized they were having to move elsewhere, so they are encouraging more people to become foster parents.

“We're just trying to raise some awareness of the tremendous need that's out there for foster parents in the county,” Roark said.

“We're looking for a family who care about kids, who have a heart for children,” Nelson said.

They are looking for people that can give kids a better upbringing, closer to home.

There was an information session for potential foster parents in Harlan Tuesday afternoon.

For information on how to become a foster parent in Harlan County, you can call (606) 573-4620, or (606) 573-4330, ext. 2046 or ext. 2022.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Alice Location: Mt Region on Jan 21, 2009 at 06:44 PM
    I just heard about the postings from a friend & had to post a comment. I think there definately is a need for reform. Please WYMT do a indepth story on the subject!
  • by Proud Foster Parent Location: Pikeville on Jan 21, 2009 at 04:56 PM
    The main thing is to reach out and help at least for a while. Look at all of us that may live in a nice home and just how many rooms are empty? I am serious people, reach out to help little ones that are scared and need security for ever how long. We need to be selfless and do what you can to make a difference.
  • by lue lue Location: harlan,leslie line on Jan 21, 2009 at 01:55 PM
    i live in Leslie county just outside Harlan Leslie line i wounder if they would concerted me i love kids.
  • by Amber Location: Knott Co. on Jan 21, 2009 at 11:33 AM
    That sound like a wonderful idea. Someone needs to expose the system for what it is. How can they expect to get good loving foster parents who are not just doing it for a check when this is how the system works. I know several social workers who I felt were good people looking out for the best interest of the children until a recent case involving an acquintance in a surrounding Co. Good People shouldn't let their supervisors or the system in general impair on what is best for the child. There should be limits on the length of time in custody that a child can be removed and the length of time family should have to step forward to get them!
  • by Lou on Jan 21, 2009 at 10:10 AM
    I would like to ask WYMT to do a more comprehensive story on this subject. There appears to be quite a bit of concern on the matter. Someone should investigate and report the problems within the system!
  • by Anonymous on Jan 21, 2009 at 07:17 AM
    The system is messed up. These kids are thrwon from pillar to post. About the time they get use to being in a good home they have to go back to the same old environment they came from. Besides the foster parents have no rights what so ever. If something goes wrong social services sure wont stand behind them and all they are concerned with is covering thier own butts. Not all social workers are bad but a few I've dealt with are liars and back stabbers. I've been a foster parent and I just got out of it because of the heart ache and the crooked dealings that I saw go on. I even heard one social worker say that "we dont pay you to love these kids, they just need a good place to stay" In my opinion most of them dont care about the kids just as long as they are out of thier hair. It's so sad.
  • by Lou on Jan 21, 2009 at 07:14 AM
    How can people who really care for and bond with these children for years just give them up? What long term affects do it have on these kids? Naomi I feel for you! Hang in there.
  • by Louise Location: Eastern KY on Jan 21, 2009 at 06:34 AM
    I thought there was a law passed to speed things up. Wasn't it 6months to terminate a parents rights if they didn't improve? Isn't maximum time is care suppost to be 15 months? My friend has had a newborn for almost 2 years and they still may take it away. Can't we do something to speed this process up? Or grant rights to these fosterparents also? Who do we petition to?
  • by Don Location: London on Jan 21, 2009 at 06:33 AM
    My wife and I kept foster chilren for about 5 years.It was very rewarding providing things that most children take for granted such as meals and a warm,dry,SAFE place to sleep.The heartbreak was when some idiot judge would tell you they were doing so good in care that they were being returned home.The child was not the problem,home was the problem,but all the courts cared about was cutting costs and clearing out their case load.I hope that anyone out there who can do foster care and feels led to will try.Despite all the problems,it is one of the greatest blessings you will ever receive.
  • by Naomi on Jan 21, 2009 at 06:20 AM
    Think it over very well before you decide to do this. I am a foster parent who was hoping to adopt. Do you know that you have no legal rights & that no matter how long you keep these kids they may eventually be given back to family, that is the goal. Even after 1year or 3years. The system is suppost to be improved, believe me it is not. Lots of these kids linger in care for years. It is like a death when you lose a child you have had for years and the system and social workers don't care because their goal is to return them to any blood relative even if they are 70years old and will be unable to care for the child in a few years. The system has broken my heart, so be weary before you get involved.
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