Arizona faces critical foster home shortage
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - “Statewide there are 13,790 kids in the foster care we have 3,992 homes,” said Sam Dyer, the Executive Director of A Place to Call Home.
Arizona is in desperate need of foster homes for youth and special needs children and adults.
“Every month there are more homes closing their license than are getting licensed,” said Dyer.
Dyer says right now Pima County is short 165 foster homes.
“In general there is a desperate need for foster homes across the board,” said Dyer.
Given the shortage, where exactly are foster children in Arizona calling home? Dyer says it can range from a family member, to a group home, even a shelter if there is one.
“In Pima County we no longer have shelter for young children so that one is taken out of the picture,” said Dyer.
If all resources are exhausted, fosters will be forced to stay at a welcome center, a place they’re not supposed to be for longer than 24-hours.
Dyer believes the cause of the shortage is simple.
“Being a foster parent is hard,” said Dyer. “Lots of times the systems beat the families down. Not purposely. They’re just hard systems to navigate without assistance.”
Dora Nice agrees. She is a foster parent to one of her former students. Dora says the good that her foster child, Maryanne, has brought into her life makes it all worth it.
“She’s a part of everything we do,” said Nice. We go on trips together, celebrate with the family on holidays.”
“Sometimes they’re tired, they’re frustrated, sometimes they feel like they’re done but in retrospect its all worth it,” said Dyer.
If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, you can reach out to A Place To Call Home at (520) 318-9906.
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