Twin Cities Live has been highlighting Minnesota’s adoption system and the nearly 1,000 children waiting for a family for almost 4-years. Our Kid Connection series has helped place and adopt more than 30 children. And while there are children finding homes, there are still so many waiting. Like 17-year-old Chanel. We first met this teenager 3 ½ years ago. A lot has changed for this young girl, but one thing that’s stayed the same is her need for a family. Twin Cities Live Reporter Kelli Hanson gives us an update.
Chanel’s adoption recruiter says this once very introverted girl has really come out of her shell. That’s thanks in part to a foster family that showed her the person she could become. And family foster homes are urgently needed. The number of kids in the state’s foster care system on an average day has increased by 12%. In 2016 there were 8,850 kids in foster care. In 2017 that number jumped to 9,900. Because of this, there’s a shortage of foster families.
One of the primary reasons this number is going up is the rise in parental drug use, specifically opioid addiction. According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, as of 2016, drug abuse is the largest reason why children would need to be placed in foster or group care.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services’ website provides steps to becoming a foster parent. If you’re interested, contact your county, tribal social service agency or licensed child placement agency for more information about the need for homes.