Texas Boys Ranch highlights need for foster parents on South Plains
There are more than 400,000 children in foster care nationwide. Almost 2,000 are right here around the South Plains region.
"When we see them that first day at placement or we see the picture or we're there at the placement, then we see them a couple months later, its a whole new child," said Angela Scorick, foster care and adoption program director at the Texas Boys Ranch.
They range from newborns to young adults and they all have one thing in common. They need someone to step up for them.
"There's such a huge need in this area for more people to take care of these children," Scorick said.
The Ranch cares for a number of foster children in the area, but they can't do it all alone. Scorick says there is a pressing issue in the system in our area. Because of a lack of foster homes, kids are being split up from their siblings. As a result, they are taken farther away from their biological families.
"When they're sent out of region, they're not able to visit with their families or their siblings near as frequently as they should," Scorick said.
This makes is harder for essential rehabilitation and reunification efforts to ever happen. Scorick says making the home safe for kids and getting them back to their parents is always the goal. If this isn't doable, adopting them into a great family is also an option.
One local family, the Peñas, are hoping to adopt.
"We thought, 'you know, life isn't crazy enough with five teenage girls. What else can we do?' So here we are, with the boys," Hector Peña said.
People don't have to be perfect to be great foster parents.
"We're looking for people that are open and willing to be trained and learn how to take care of these children," Scorick said.
If you can't foster or adopt, but still want to help, there are other ways to give back to local children in need. Scorick recommends finding a local foster family and offering a helping hand.
"Connect with them. See if maybe you can help babysit those kids. When they get some new children in, maybe you can help prepare a meal for them to kind of ease that load or maybe you could gather some supplies."
If you are interested in becoming a foster parent or adopting a child click here for more information from the Texas Boys Ranch. Call to set up a meeting. They will help every step of the way with getting licensed to take in a child.
The Texas Boys Ranch Telethon is Saturday night, Aug. 10 in the Firehouse Theater at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts. You can join us in-person or watch live on FOX34 from 6 to 11 p.m. There will be live music, auctions and stories from those who dedicate their time to the Texas Boys Ranch.