Child Foster Placement Problem on the Rise
The number of children being placed in out-of-home care is rapidly increasing in recent years – particularly in Beltrami County. There, the number has nearly doubled in the past five years.
Based on 2015 placement numbers and 2014 census estimates, 1046 children were placed out-of-home, that’s 9 percent of all children in Beltrami County in 2015. Specifically in March 2016, Beltrami County Children’s Services reports there were 193 children in placement that month alone.
County health officials say they estimate over 66 percent of those placements are related to parents’ substance abuse.
Yet, that’s not the only alarming issue, several counties are facing very few placement options for both children and adults. There isn’t enough foster care homes.
However, the community can offer help. Through programs like Students First, any one can sign up as a mentor to a youth of 7th to 12th grade. Students First is looking to add 70 volunteers to their team of 300.
For more information, contact Lara Gerhardsson, Students First Program Coordinator, at 218-333-8042.
If you’re interested in being a foster care provider, contact Robin Schmidt, Beltrami County Licensing Officer, at 218-333-8300.