Local News

Adoption agency works to thin ranks of NC children in foster care

Posted July 7, 2017 6:06 p.m. EDT

— North Carolina has hit a 10-year high when it comes to children in foster care, and one of the state's biggest adoption agencies is making changes to try and put a dent in that number.

More than 11,000 children are in in foster care statewide, including about 700 in Wake County. Debbi Fox-Davis, director of development for the Children's Home Society of North Carolina, said the spike is more a result of children coming into the system at a faster clip than a lack of families looking to adopt.

"By sheer numbers, our urban areas have greater numbers. But by percentage, we do see more in the rural areas," Fox-Davis said.

The reasons for the rising numbers of foster children are many, she said.

"Usually, some of the main factors are parental substance abuse, and those numbers are certainly increasing with the opioid epidemic," she said. "Poverty is always a factor. Mental illness is certainly a factor as well."

Wake County officials recently put out a public plea for help, and now the Children's Home Society is ramping up efforts to put a dent in those numbers.

"We've started on a new strategic plan where we've mapped out how we can double the number of adoptions and we can more than double the work that we're doing for children who are at the greatest risk," Fox-Davis said.

Anyone interested in becoming a foster parent is encouraged to reach out to the agency.

"There's children of all ages, from birth to 18, who need these loving, supportive families, and it will change their lives, and it will change the lives of the whole family," she said.