State Working to Improve Foster Care

(KARK) — With thousands of kids in foster care around the state – the Department of Human Services is working to fix the problem.
Andrew Rodgers life revolves around children. He and his wife own Incredible Kidz – a daycare in North Little Rock. When he’s not at the center- he’s at home  – taking care of their six adopted children – ranging in age from five to 16.
“This is amazing to me because we were once in a home with no laughter, there was no children,” says Rodgers.
When Rodgers’ wife found out she couldn’t have children, they decided to foster  – before eventually adopting.
Right now, there are a little more than 1,600 foster homes in the state for nearly 5,200 kids in need of adoption. DHS says most of the children are in the system because of neglect — stemming from substance abuse problems in the home.
“In the system it’s not just one issue,” says Mischa Martin with DCFS. “We have to focus on numerous issues and focusing on the family.”
One of those include providing services – before the family of children placed into the  foster care system – reach a crisis situation. “We’re working on prevention and unification, were working on strengthening the foster care system for the children that have to be in there, increasing our workforce and the capacity to serve families,” says Martin.
For Rodgers, he says he’ll continue doing his part to make sure foster kids in Arkansas find a home. “My brother in law has now adopted since we adopted, my mother in law has foster parent with five children so seeing the positive side is paying off for those that know the need,” says Rodgers.

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