Megan Harbin, the Director of Abilene Outreach say the Big Country is in need of qualified foster parents. One trend that she's seeing is the amount of kids being placed outside their community.
"It's sad to think that a child from my neighborhood can be removed and have to live in Tyler and Dallas," Harbin said. "They've already lost their Mom and Dad."
According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, there are a total of 16,242 children in foster care, 143 of which are in Taylor County. The number saw a jump from last February with a total of 89.
"As a result, kids are being put into shelters and having to stay longer," Harbin adds.
According to February statistics, of the 143 children in foster care, nearly half of them stayed in the county. The rest could have been moved as far as Houston.
In order to help minimize child placements and improve foster care, a service called Foster Care Redesign has been implemented last August by DFPS.
The goals are to have children within 50 miles from where they were removed, keep siblings together and reduce the number of time children move between foster homes.
The new system was transitioned first between DFPS Regions 2 & 9, which includes Taylor, Nolan, Fisher, Scurry and Eastland County.
"Abilene is one of many cities in our region that has high rates of removal," says Harbin. "We want the kids to stay in a community where they already involved in their school, church, and leisure groups."
To learn more about being a foster parent, you can contact MCH Family Outreach by calling (325) 672-9398 or by visiting them at 500 Chestnut St. Ste 1730.
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