Instead of using foster homes, county prefers to keep it in the family
Published: Friday, October 29, 2010
By Jason Lea
Lake County has 23 fewer active foster families than it did two years ago.
That may sound bad but, actually, it's a good thing.
There are fewer foster families because fewer families are needed. In 2006, 158 children were in the custody of Lake County. That number has dropped every subsequent year, according to information from Lake County Job and Family Services. Currently, there are only 66 kids in the county's custody.
State statistics mirror these trends. There were 21,038 in Ohio's custody in July 2003. In July 2010, that total dwindled to 12,197, according to the Children's Bureau of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Teresa Palm is the children services administrator for the county JFS. She said there were at least two reasons that fewer children were being taken from their biological households and put in foster care. The biggest reason is more at-risk kids are moving in with family members or friends of the family, instead of foster homes. These are called kinship placements.