There is a major shortage of foster families in the Treasure Valley currently. Obviously not all situations or homes are able to or should open their home for various reasons. However there are a lot of youth that simply need a safe positive place to stay and someone caring. There are children, youth and teens of all ages looking for a temporary home. Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW) is having such a shortage of available foster families and an influx of more children and youth in need that they had to do something that has never been done before.

According to KTVB, "There are nearly 1,600 Idaho children in foster care right now and about 1,200 licensed foster homes. Without enough families to take them all in, the state had to find a way to house dozens of kids with nowhere to go. IDHW is renting two short-term rentals in the Treasure Valley where around five kids at a time live for multiple days."

This can only be a short term fix as it is not only costing the state a lot but the kids need supervision and right now that is only happening in shifts from other foster parents because there are simply not enough people currently willing to help. KTVB reports that it is costing the state around $100,000 a year. There must be a better solution. For starters Idaho Department of Health and Welfare are going to ask the legislature for an increase in funding for foster families. Currently it ranges from $400 (younger) to $675 (older). They would like to see the range that the state gives per child raised from $650 (younger) to $800 (older).

I know most people don't have the time or space to take on something like this, but if you can see it in yourself to open your heart and your home for a short time to a local foster child consider becoming a foster parent.  Visit the foster parents application page on the Idaho Dept. of Health and Welfare's website or call 211, Idaho's helpline.



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