Linda McCartan director of family preservation with child and family services says the drug epidemic has greatly impacted the number of children her agency serves.
“We’ve seen children that come into care for all different reasons,” McCartan says.
“But there’s definitely kids in there with experiencing abuse and neglect and it’s been connected to the parent’s use of drugs.”
Nationwide the US Department of Health and Human Services estimate that more than 425,000 children are currently in foster care.
A number that has risen steadily over the past four years.
In Erie County alone there are over 1000 children currently in the system -- with each child dealing with the adjustment in their own way.
“We service children anywhere from age birth to 21-years-old so for our real young ones sometimes children have been born addicted to drugs so that’s a host of problems and struggles for the system,” McCartan says.
She says with an influx of children foster agencies need qualified adults to step up as foster parents.
“It’s very rewarding to know you can help these kids be a kid let them be in a home where they don’t have to worry about getting dinner every night and having to deal with adult situations,” Foster and adoptive parent Jill Wall says.
Interested in becoming a foster parent? The next general information meeting at Child and Family Services is November 9. For more information click here or call 716-882-0555.