North Dakota foster care numbers making progress

Still much progress to be made

With an average of 1,550 children in North Dakota’s foster care system this month, building a plan of action that works for every child means constantly shifting pieces. Leslie Pearcy, a certified foster parent, is caring for two of those children. She has had a seven-year-old and two-year-old in her care for just under a year.

“We’ve pretty much got this thing down at this point,” Leslie explains of the juggling act it takes to integrate the lives of her foster children with her two biological children. She’s also been a single parent since her own children were very young. “I guess we’ve learned to be flexible,” Leslie said. “And just to really adapt to whatever is going to happen.”

Now, in her second year of fostering children, she says she had 20 foster children come in and out of her home in just the first year. That number may sound high, but Leslie says she’s glad those children are taking steps closer to being reunited with their biological families.

“That’s the Intent of it,” she said. “We know what our end goal is, right? So we keep that in mind. We’re not setting ourselves up to be overly disappointed if something doesn’t go the right way.”

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