Need for foster families increased during pandemic, child and family service says


AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the foster care system, according to St. Francis Ministries.

The child welfare ministry service serves more than 31,000 children.

“We know what it takes to help these kids get through life and become successful, especially when they come from hard places,” Erin Baxter, community engagement advisor for St. Francis Ministries said. “We work with several different agencies child-placing agencies.”

Baxter said the shutdown shutdown severely impacted foster kids in the Amarillo-area.

“When things started shutting down in March and the governor issued the stay at home orders, we noticed that there were not as many calls coming in,” Baxter explained. “There’s not as many people seeing what’s going on, the teachers are not there the coaches are not there.”

Baxter said that was not the only issue.

“A lot of families who were thinking about getting licensed for foster care really stepped back,” she added. “I think it was of fear, hesitation to not knowing where these kids are coming from what are they bringing with them are they going to make my kids sick.”

Now more than ever, St. Francis Ministries is increasing its recruitment efforts in hopes of getting foster kids placed into safe environments.

“It takes a special person to do this kind of work,” Baxter said. “It takes a village to raise a child, which means the community coming together and wrapping around those kids.”

St. Francis Ministries holds informational meetings every month to help guide families interesting in fostering or adoption. To learn more about the organization, click here.

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