“We definitely need families that are open to middle school and high school age kids,” Leggett said. “We still need them for younger children, as well. Right now, we only have 23 licensed foster families.”
…About 55% of the children under the supervision of DSS have been placed with local foster homes and relatives. If the parents and DSS can’t find someone to provide a foster home for the children, however, they sometimes end up having to leave Beaufort County.
“When you have to place a child in another county, not only are they taken from their parents, but they’re switching schools, and they’re away from the people they know and are used to being around,” said Beaufort County DSS Supervisor Karen Chrisman. “There are a lot more changes for a child when they have to be placed out of county.”
Ultimately, the goal is to reunite children with their parents whenever possible, according to Leggett.
“In a lot of cases, we work with parents, and children get to go home,” Leggett said. “But there are also a lot of cases where parents, for one reason or another, can’t. Our first priority is to return children to their parents.”
Currently, Leggett says there is more interest in fostering babies and young children, but there is a need for parents willing to take on teenagers all the way up to age 18.