Increasing need for foster parents in Southern Arizona - Tucson News Now

Increasing need for foster parents in Southern Arizona

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The number of children in need of foster homes continues to grow in Southern Arizona and more foster parents are needed to help take care of them.

May is National Foster Care Month, which is a time to recognize the team of people it takes to help children in foster care find permanent homes.

La Paloma Family Services helps recruit and train foster parents. Lisa Brody is the organization's executive director. Although May is Foster Care Month, she says recruiting foster parents is a year-round process.

According to La Paloma Family Services there are about 700 foster homes and 3,400 children in foster care in Pima County. She says the need for foster parents is growing.

"It's really because the state budget was cut by 75 percent in prevention dollars, so we don't have the money to actually help families being able to maintain their children in a safe environment," said Brody. "(That means) more children are being removed from their homes."

Brody adds there are 2,000 children in group home care that would do better in a family environment.

"Age doesn't matter, over 21 is required but old, young, single parent, any configuration of a family as long as you have love in your heart for a child," said Brody about becoming a foster parent.

If you're interested in becoming a foster parent, La Paloma hosts monthly orientation meetings in Pima County. There's one Tuesday, May 13 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Pima County Juvenile Court, Building M on Ajo Way. 

For more information about La Paloma and the foster parent program go online to www.lapalomakids.org

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