Arizona Foster Care numbers are blowing through the roof. In fact, there are enough children in foster care to fill the U.S. Airways Center, according to CBS News. In Maricopa and Pima county, there are 12 state offices available for kids to stay in. Between Sept. 28 and Oct. 4, there were 36 cases of kids spending nights in the Department of Child Services (DCS) office buildings, reported CBS News; 10 of those cases were kids ages two to five, 11 cases were from ages six to 12, and 15 were from ages 13 to 18. Kris Jacober, Executive Director of the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation, told CBS News, “They get in a car and then go to sleep in a office and they don’t have a voice and they don’t have any way to say to the community, ‘Hey, look what happens next.” The foster care Directors have found a temporary care center for the kids to sleep, eat, and play.
The situation that these kids are going through right now is just heartbreaking. It is hard enough knowing that there are kids who don’t have parents around or a “real” home, but to know they have to sleep in an office since there isn’t enough room for them is unbelieveable. The foster care directors are trying to get funds for a bigger place or an attachment building so these conditions won’t be a problem. Also, Jacober is a foster parent herself, so she said that “the state really hasn’t made a concerted effort to recruit families.” I believe she’s right. If they recruit more families, then these children will not only have a place to stay, but they will be in a family. The worst part about the whole problem is that there are frightened little children who are being put into the DCS offices overnight.
In Arizona, foster care seems to be getting worse with each minute. But, on June 1, they opened up a new facility that will be able to house up to 16 kids from ages 10 and younger. They are still trying to find more places for kids 10 and older, but for now they will have to remain in the DCS offices until a new solution is found.