Kids In Foster Care Rises; Potential Foster Homes Decreases - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Kids In Foster Care Rises; Potential Foster Homes Decreases

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JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) - Many children in Jackson County are looking for a foster home.

According to the Department of Human Services, over the last two years, the number of children in the foster system increased by 40 percent. At the same time, the amount of potential foster families decreased 40 percent.

Officials from the DHS in Jackson set a goal to add 30 more foster homes and they say the need isn't limited to Jackson - it's state-wide.

 

 

 

Dominique Whitehead, 16, didn't always believe that things happen for a reason. "Now I do. Because it worked out perfectly. I mean, because I'm happy. I like where I'm at. I'm in school," said Dominique.

Two years ago, removed from her mother's care, she entered the foster system. But now she's found a new permanent home.

Dominique is part of Michigan Youth Opportunity Initiative. She meets with her coordinator and other foster teens facing the same issues, because things don't work out for every foster child like they did Dominique.

The DHS Director in Jackson County, Jerome Colwell, says over the past two years, the number of foster kids shot up 40 percent, while the number of foster families dropped 40 percent. But to be a foster parent, he says you don't need special skills. Just love.

"You've shown a different way of life than they've experienced before. That someone can care about them. I think that is the type of person we would love to see provide care for these children. And I think that you'll get your own rewards from that," said Colwell.

Dominique calls her guardian by her first name. "But I think sooner than later, as I progress, I'll probably end up calling her 'mom.' I mean, cause she'll be the one there for me. I get treated just like I'm her own," Dominique says.

And in her wildest dreams, she didn't think, through it all, that life would turn out this way.

"Really, to be honest, it kind of just blew my mind. Because I never thought it would be like this. Ever. I'm able to live a kid's life like I'm supposed to," she says.

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