LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – On any given day in Clark County, 3,400 children are in foster care with 300 homes still needed to house children.
There are many reasons for this however most are from parental drug use, abuse, and incarceration to neglect or death.
A stigma around foster care doesn’t help.
“Foster care just in itself that word itself is kind of negative. From their perspective it makes them feel like they’re a second-tier kid. But you’re not, you are a regular kid, you just live in an alternative situation right now,” Curtis Stuckey who has been a foster parent since 2007 explained.
Right now, he has six foster kids at home.
Brittany Loyd the Recruitment and Retention Supervisor at Eagle Quest said anyone can become a foster parent.
The agency she works at provides foster parents with support and help.
She said she hears a lot of the same thing from potential foster parents.
“One of the major barriers to finding a foster family is a lot of people feel like they can’t do it or now is not the right time for me,” Loyd explained.
The requirements can be cumbersome with background checks and licensing.
All of that can take several months before you can become a foster parent.
For those that have done it, they said it’s worth it.
“It is challenging, but it is rewarding,” Stuckey said. “Show them what a good role model is supposed to be because a lot of these kids haven’t had good role models.”
Although the ultimate goal of the foster system is to reunite children with their birth parents, a foster parent can also become a family.
Clark County Family Services is offering an expedited two-week foster care training to help.
Families must commit to fostering teens immediately upon receiving their license.
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