ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — More than 17,000 children are in foster care, statewide, and specifically, in Taylor County, the need is very high.

This weekend, in an effort to bring awareness to the need of foster care in our region, 12 different agencies in the Big Country are teaming up to spread the message.

“What we’re trying to do is to promote awareness for the need of foster parents. We need families that are willing to open their home, their heart to kids and care. Provide them with support, encouragement. Hopefully, essentially, keep them in their community. Keep them here in Taylor County is our goal,” Kassia Jarmillo with Children’s Hope said.

Since the movie “Instant Family” opened in theaters this weekend, the agencies thought it would be the perfect time to inform moviegoers about the topic, since that is what the movies is about.

“Taylor County, specifically, has a very high need for more foster parents to keep our kids in our community. When kids are removed, we’re having to move them outside of Taylor County, outside of Region II, which is a very large county which goes out into Wichita Falls, down to Ballinger, even. We have to send our kids to Dallas or San Antonio or to Houston. So, we’re really trying to keep them where they’re from,” Jessica McNulty with Saint Francis Ministries said.

Those who missed the duo this weekend, can also find more information at weneedmorefosterparents.com.

You will find the 12 adoption and foster care agencies in the Big Country.