Montgomery County officials celebrated roughly 140 of their foster parents at an annual dinner Thursday in Dayton.
Right now, the number of foster children in Montgomery County is more than double the number of homes available to them, according to Job & Families Services officials.
According to experts, the number of children in foster care has been increasing in the state recent years, in large part due to the opioid crisis.
“We wanted to be a voice for the people, for the children, and advocate for the children who didn’t really have a voice,” said Christi Downs, a local foster mother.
Downs said she and her husband Adam are getting ready to adopt for their latest foster child, a 22-month-old boy. It will be their third adoption.
“It’s been really positive to see the kids bond with your family and to see a new healing come to those situations,” Adam said.
According to Montgomery County Job & Family Services, slightly more than 600 children are in the agency’s custody now. While some families take in multiple children at once, there are currently about 250 foster homes in the county, said Jewell Good, assistant director.
“Right now, we have a lot of foster parents who foster young children, but we have a need for foster parents who are willing to foster teenagers,” Good said.
Good said she is feeling optimistic about the direction the state is heading in regarding children services.
Governor Mike DeWine launched an initiative earlier this year to recruit more foster parents and has proposed nearly doubling the state funding for children services.
“Changes financially for our system that have been long overdue and desperately needed,” Jewell said.
If you’re interested in potentially becoming a foster parent, Montgomery County holds informational sessions each month. For more information, click here.