CPS puts out call for more foster families

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by Marie Saavedra, 3TV

azfamily.com

Posted on September 6, 2011 at 9:34 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 6 at 9:41 PM

PHOENIX – State budget cutbacks are having a big impact on Child Protective Services.

Arizona's foster care system is swamped. The number of kids continues to grow but the number of families open to helping is not. 

3TV spoke to a foster family in Queen Creek. Jim and his wife had three biological daughters but always wanted a son, so they entered the foster family system.

They're now fostering one girl and adopted two boys out of the foster care system in April.

"My heart goes out to them. I always wanted to do something to help them and I'm grateful I can be a foster family to help these children," said Jim.

Its more families like his that the state is desperate for. CPS has seen its pool of foster parents shrink. Jim says finances could be a reason why and so is adoption. 

"They want a son. They want a daughter. They want a family. They'll go ahead and adopt then pull themselves out of the system," he said.

The state's desire for more kids in a family setting is even being felt by private group homes, like Sunshine Acres in Mesa.

The director there says the number of kids in their care is actually down. "I think that's in large part due to the state's desire to keep kids with kinship care and in the families as much as possible and out of the state system," said Rev. Sean Sloan, director of Sunshine Acres.

Because of that, any empty bedrooms in Jim's home won't likely be empty for long. His family will welcome more kids in need, and if possible, he asks that you do the same. 

"If you see those news articles and are indeed by them, there's something you can do," Jim said.

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