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Foster parents needed in Michiana, local organization trying to help

NOW: Foster parents needed in Michiana, local organization trying to help

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Hoosier children are in need of homes.

The foster care shortage, state-wide, has been an issue that ABC57 news has reported before.

Now, the National Youth Advocate Program in South Bend is working to help the dire situation.

A Monday morning coffee meeting was held, to encourage potential foster parents, to get some education on the process, as well as get their questions answered. 

Jill Rippy is a licensing coordinator with NYAP, and says that the numbers are staggering.

Every day, they get multiple calls, to try and place kids in new homes.

According to the Indiana Department of Child Services, the number of kids in the foster care system has spiked drastically in the past few years.

Rippy says, a large part of the reason, is due to the opioid crisis. 

DCS statistics show that in 2013. 31% of kids in the foster care system, were there because of substance abuse problems at home.

In 2017, that number jumped to 58%.

Rippy says that the foster care homes in the South Bend area are completely maxed out, and they are having a hard time of placing kids in new home.

She's hoping that 2018 shows that the Michiana community, wants to help these children. 

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