Although the state of North Carolina has seen a massive increase in the number of children in foster care, one county has been able to lower its numbers. Sampson County has fewer than 90 children in foster care despite the growing number of children in foster care around the state.
What's different in Sampson? It's believed that a push to build awareness at foster care fairs and taking time to advertise has helped. Additionally, the county officials have been working with the courts to keep more families together.
The number of children in foster care in North Carolina is over 11,000, as of the latest 2017 report. That's the highest level that has been seen in over 10 years and is a 28 percent increase in just half a decade.
The goal of foster care isn't to keep children in the system. The overall aim is to place them into permanent homes either by returning them to their parents, relatives or close friends. By focusing on making that happen, the foster care system has the potential to lower the number of children who stay in the system while still having the resources needed to help those who can't be cycled out quickly. Recruiting foster families ahead of time is also helpful, which is another factor that helped in Sampson County. Having families ready to take on children gives them a safe home sooner, preventing them from ending up in state custody with nowhere to go.
If you're looking to get your child or the child of a family member out of foster care, your attorney can help you take the steps you need to obtain custody. With a community's support, foster time can be limited to only what's necessary.
Source: The Sampson Independent, "DSS makes huge strides in foster care," Chris Berendt, Aug. 14, 2017