Wyoming Foster Home numbers increase during pandemic; down from last year
CASPER Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Wyoming homes willing to take in foster children are down so far in 2021. Wyoming Department of Family Services data says the highest number of families from the past three years was in 2020.
Data from April 12, 2019, shows that there were 293 non-relative foster families and 91 relatives taking care of children who needed a safe place to stay. From that same day in 2020, there were 286 non-relatives and 81 relatives. Data from April 12, 2021, said there are 251 non-relative homes and 82 relative foster parents. These numbers don’t include foster parents in the Wyoming Native American communities.
There was also one home in 2020 and two homes in 2021 willing to take in children who have or have been exposed to COVID-19. Stacey Dunlay, A Wyoming DFS program manager said navigating foster homes during the pandemic was a challenge. " I don’t know if there were a ton of kids in that situation but it was a definite worry for sure,” Dunlay said.
Tom Kennah, a DFS program manager, said he only saw a few families willing to take in foster kids because of the pandemic and the high number in 2020 was a surprise. Kennah adds that there aren’t always foster kids in those homes currently.
Wyoming Department of Family Services is always looking for more families willing to help. “We are always recruiting we are always happy to have people apply. There are homes that are vacant, but I don’t think you can have enough,” Kennah said. Click here for more information about Wyoming Foster care.
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