Did you know that in a city with a population of around 57,000, there are literally only a handful of foster families? That's right, about five unrelated foster families in a city this size. Not 500 or even 50, but just five.
Do you know what that means?
It means that when a child is removed from his parents and taken into state custody for whatever reason, there are no foster families locally to care for him. This means that in many cases he won't be able to see his parents and, in some situations, his siblings very often because he will be in Reno or Fernley or elsewhere. This means he won't be able to go to his school and see his friends and his teachers. He won't be able to go to his church or playground either. The trauma these children go through when they are removed from their homes is devastating enough without yanking them completely out of their environment as well.
So, what is the solution? You might have the answer to that question.
If you have ever thought "One of these days ..." please think again, maybe today is one of those days. Maybe there is room in your home. Maybe now is the right time for you to help care for these kids. Carson City needs Foster Families! I can't stress enough the importance of this issue.
To talk to a representative of DCFS about Foster Family Training, call 687-4943 x262 or call CASA of Carson City 882-6776.
Chrissi Barnett is a communications specialist for the Community Council on Youth, but emphasizes this is her personal viewpoint on the importance of foster homes.