Due to the number of foster children without homes, CPS is asking families to step up

Due to the number of foster children without homes, CPS is asking families to step up (Photo by Kendra Hall ABC7).

There is a growing need for foster homes in the Panhandle. Some kids are being sent to different cities and some even left to stay the night in the Child Protections Services (CPS) office. There simply are not enough homes for the number of foster kids.

"In the Texas Panhandle, we have a shortage," said Micah Meurer, foster parent and pastor at Paramount Baptist Church. "We have a lot of good people, but I think we have a lot of good people who don't really understand the need and their place in it."

According to CPS, there are 245 foster kids in Potter County and 113 in Randall County, but only 130 licensed homes in the two counties. Adding up the numbers shows there are not enough foster homes.

"It's a reflection of the community - how they care for their kids," said Meurer. "There's a lot of reasons children come into care, but none of those reasons are their fault. As a community we need to band together and meet the need of the community."

CPS says some children are being sent to other cities because there are no homes for them here.

"If we can't find families to meet the needs of children who have been traumatized here, we traumatize them further by moving them farther away from their communities and farther away from their support system," said Rebecca Robinson, CPS Foster and Adoption Supervisor.

Robinson says there is a growing need for parents to step up to foster, but some parents either do not want to get attached or do not want to go through the process.

"Part of the drawback is 'I don't want to be wounded,' but it really is a selfish argument," said Meurer. "These children need love and it is going to involve hurt on our end."

Meurer and his family have been fostering children for several years now and they recommend it to others.

"A lot of people wonder how can we make an impact in our world? Well we can do it one life at a time," Meurer said.

And he says the process is worth it.

"Kids need loving role models," Robinson said. "If nobody steps up and fills that role, they turn to other means to fill that."

She says the process is not as tedious as some may think. She says they require a background check, home check and each parent must go through training.

Anyone who wants to apply can do so here.

CPS also hosts information meetings and anyone can attend. They are listed here. The next meeting in Amarillo is Tuesday, May 30 at 7 p.m.

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