By Britt Moreno
DENVER (CBS) – Too many kids are in foster care in Colorado and there aren’t enough homes for them. That’s the scary problem child advocates are trying to wrestle with and fix.
Minna Castillo Cohen is the director of the Office of Children, Youth and Families with the Colorado Department of Human Services. She sat down with Morning Anchor Britt Moreno on CBS4 This Morning to talk about the issue.
There are 14 kids that go into foster care each day, and Castillo Cohen told Moreno “we need to grow our pool of available homes to 2,500 by July of 2019″ to meet the needs of kids.
She claims foster homes are better for children removed from their homes than group homes. Often times when a child is removed from his or her home, it’s because of abuse and neglect, and having the transition of going into another home helps the child cope better.
A foster parent can help a child overcome those adversities they’re facing and help them reach their full potential.
Colorado needs families that mirror the kids’ ethnicities. They will gladly accept a family of any ethnicity, but especially need “Hispanic families, African American, American Indian” said Castillo Cohen. She says any one can be foster parents.
They will also accept parents with any sexual orientation, single people or married couples, renters or homeowners.
Anyone can foster a child.
New legislation recently passed will help foster parents pay for the costs. See below:
House Bill 18-1348 will provide Colorado foster and kinship parents with much-needed supports including:
– Prioritized child care assistance for children in foster care. This will help foster and kinship parents pay for the cost of child care while also providing quality education and stability for children who have experienced abuse and neglect.
– Allowing foster and kinship parents to access background information about children in order to ensure the children receive the right supports while in the foster parent’s home.
– Allowing counties to provide additional support, such as stress management services, to foster parents.
To learn more about being a foster parent visit CO4Kids.org.