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Rusk county is lacking available foster homes, leaving foster children to relocate

Updated: Nov. 15, 2020 at 9:42 PM CST
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RUSK CO., Texas (KLTV) - Buckner International held a virtual informational meeting for community members on the foster care situation in Rusk county.

Rusk county is lacking available local foster homes, leaving foster children to relocate away from family, friends, and school.

The purpose of Buckner’s online meeting was to engage families by educating them on ways to connect themselves and to help the foster community.

Foster home developer and case manager for Buckner, Elisabeth Sabella describes why it’s important to find more rusk county families willing to help out.

“It’s vitally important that we get families in home, in rusk county that can take these children and keep them connected to their families, their community, their school, all those pieces. Its traumatic enough to remove a child, it compounds that trauma to send them further and further away from home. It makes reunification so much more difficult”

Last year, nearly 48,000 children entered in services across the state.

“We currently have 11 foster homes in rusk county and that is not enough to fill the need. Those families that we do have we have to support. 60% of foster parents quit after one year of fostering and the main reason is just a lack of support.”

Paige brewer with east Texas CASA also participated in the virtual meeting. She describes the importance of volunteers.

“They make such an impact on these children’s lives because they are with them for a 12-month period.”

The Fostering Collective is an organization that works with child placing agencies across east Texas. Executive director, Justin Hayes says there are many ways you can get involved.

“We really have a great need for those who can support foster families in one way or another. Through the fostering collective someone can volunteer their time and help in our collective closet where we have items for foster and adoptive families.”

You can also donate supplies like highchairs, diapers, or sporting equipment for the foster children if you are unable to volunteer.

For more information on The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services' reporting, click here.

For more information about ways to help, click here.

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