Arizona in ‘crucial’ need for more foster families

Many people stepped away from being foster parents in Arizona during the pandemic and the state needs foster care help.
Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 7:26 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — There are more than 14,000 children in foster care across Arizona right now. The Arizona Department of Child Safety says there are only 4,500 licensed foster families.

Shawn Whitaker with the Arizona Children’s Association says, like many other industries, the pandemic has created a shortage of foster parents. “The need right now is crucial,” Whitaker said. “Across Arizona, there is a need for more foster homes.”

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Whitaker says foster homes are the best alternative for a child if no family members can take care of them. If they cannot find a foster home that fits, the child can be placed in a group home or temporary shelter, and that’s not the best scenario. “Foster care homes are ideal if we don’t have a family to take care of the child,” Whitaker said.

Jodi Acevedo has fostered kids for the past three years. She believes it’s important for kids to have a routine and feel loved by the people around them. “They need the love. They need stability,” she said. “They just need someone there for them to navigate life.

Acevedo says fostering children has made her life better. It’s changed her perspective while helping a kid in need. She knows some families froze their licenses during the pandemic, and less new people signed up to join. She hopes people will step up to help. If you’re interested in learning more about how to become a foster parent, click/tap here.