Helena, MT – As the opioid crisis has grown in recent years, so has the number of children no longer able to safely live with their parents. Advocates say it’s important to support the foster parents and extended families increasingly being called on to care for children. As more U-S parents addicted to opioids face incarceration, rehab or overdose, more children are in need of safe homes, creating more demand for foster care, according to children and families advocacy organization Generations United. The number of children in foster care in Montana nearly doubled from 2007 to 2016, jumping from about 17-hundred to nearly 34-hundred.
In response to the growing need for foster caregivers, Congress in February passed the Family First Prevention Services Act. The law provides more funding for programs such as parenting classes, substance-abuse treatment and mental-health services: all designed to prevent children from being placed in foster care. The U-S Senate this year also is recognizing today (Thursday) as National Foster Parent Appreciation Day.