Foster care crisis: thousands of abused and neglected kids need a home

Hundreds of people who belong to churches, state agencies, and non-profits, are doing everything they can to deal with this crisis, but the truth is it is going to take time.

Meanwhile a generation of kids is waiting.

It's a growing problem and one that has no end in sight.

More than 17,000 children across the state are looking for a foster home.

The fact there is a foster parent shortage across the state is not helping matters.

The Meet the Kids Gallery at the AASK organization's website is complete with pictures and ages of Arizona children looking for homes.

This goes from sad to tragic, when you consider there are 17,438 children trapped in the system, with no place to call home.

"There is no one reason why you can't point to one moment in time, or one particular cause, it's a lot of things. We have a bad economy, it's getting better, but it effects families," said Doug Nick, spokesperson for the Department of Child Safety.

Despite measures taken by DCS, various state, nad non-profit groups, the crisis continues to grow. More children are coming into the system, and fewer families like Dennae Pierre's are stepping up to foster children.

"Eight children over the last seven years, we've had several teenage boys who are a lot of fun, we've had babies, we've been able to adopt two of our foster children," said Dennae Pierre.

Pierre is a foster mom who works with the Surge network, and other organizations to tackle the foster parent crisis. So what is keeping more families from fostering?

"I think a lot of times people don't respond because they can't take a child into their home, we do need families to pull families out of that river who are drowning, we need foster parents, we need adoptive parents, there's also a place for the rest of us who can't do that, to go up stream and begin work on solutions that prevent kids from being in this position in the first place," said Pierre.

Pierre believes if enough people do what they can on many different levels they can begin making a dent in the crisis.

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