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East Texas faces foster care crisis

Unmatched children are sleeping in hotels and offices according to The Fostering Collective.

TEXAS, USA — Fostering attracts different families for different reasons.

It gave Anna Thomas and her husband a second chance at having a family and gave two kids a loving home.

Thomas explained, “My husband and I were unable to have children after trying for 10 years.”

About 2,000 children in East Texas are in foster care according to Justin Hayes, Executive director for The Fostering Collective. He explained how the current foster care crisis- residential treatment centers and group homes having to close during the pandemic- is tormenting our region.

Hayes said, “Whenever a group home or a residential treatment center is shut down, then where are these children going to go?”

He said these children have been sleeping in places like hotels and offices with Child Protective Services, but fixes like these are temporary.

Parents like Thomas who have fostered yearn for more families to open their homes.

She said, “100% do it, because these kids are not ready to be removed from everything they know. So no, it's going to be hard, it's going to be emotional, but it will be 100% worth it.”

You can become a foster parent by visiting The Fostering Collective's website to be connected with an agency.

On October 20, The Fostering Collective will host a launch party for their annual campaign “Be the Light” where they will share stories, statistics and specific ways people can support children in foster care.

It will be held at Central Baptist Church from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.