Foster Family Recruitment in Clark County - 8 News NOW

Foster Family Recruitment in Clark County

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(Scroll down for information on the Foster Family Recruitment event)

The county's childcare system has faced intense scrutiny over the past several months. From reports of children sleeping in overcrowded conditions at Child Haven to overwhelmed caseworkers.

The foster care system in Clark County is a system in crisis.

Now, with a new person in charge at the Department of Family Services, the agency is hoping to regain the public's confidence that it can care for children.

You can hear the frustration in Dianne Di Ciaccio's voice. Through pure luck Diane found out about the "Citizens Advisory" meeting, supposedly a chance for the public to ask questions or make comments about child welfare concerns.

It turns out Dianne was the only person from the public inside this meeting. It's a fact that didn't surprise her.

Despite having a foster-adoptive license for two years, Diane is still trying to get a child into her home.

Dianne said, "I was told that... she could assure me that there were no children in her department eligible for adoption that met my criteria. My criteria is pretty broad: zero to six, any sex, any race/ethnicity, as long as they are not medically fragile. Mentally delayed is fine, emotionally delayed is fine. It's a pretty broad range. And I was told that there are no children in the system that meet that criteria."

Eyewitness News has heard similar stories from other families who sit and wait for a phone call from the county and for the chance to adopt a child.

But according to Thomas Morton, the new director of DFS, potential parents need to understand that 80 to 90-percent of the children living in Child Haven will eventually be reunited with their parents.

That's why recruiting more foster parents is such a necessity.

As Morton starts his second week on the job, improving the image of the system is one of his top priorities.

Thomas Morton said, "One of the keys to recruiting foster parents is retaining the ones that you have. If you have a large turnover and you have a lot of people that are unhappy, you've got a bunch of people out there telling others in the community don't go there, don't do this. So, we've got some improvements we have to make but at the same time we cannot solve this problem with out the support and participation of the community."

Right now there are a little more than 2,000 children in foster care and only about 900 licensed foster homes in Clark County.

Anyone who is interested in opening up their home to foster children is encouraged to attend the Foster Family Recruitment event Friday, July 28th and Saturday, July 29th.

The event takes place at Palace Station from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days.

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