An average of 25 to 30 children who have been removed from their homes in Mesa County by child welfare professionals are living in foster homes in other counties, because there aren’t enough certified foster homes here for them to remain in the community where they live.
The shortage of foster families is something the county’s human services department is trying to remedy, but it’s slow going and a campaign to have 40 new foster homes on board before the end of 2018 is only halfway to its goal.
So far this year, 18 new foster homes have completed training with the county and are able to take children who can’t remain in their own homes for safety reasons. But Mesa County Child Welfare Manager Joni Bedell said the recruitment never really ends, because circumstances change.
“Sometimes foster parents end up adopting and closing that door,” she said.