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Colorado needs 1,200 more certified foster parents

By: Jennifer Brown, The Denver Post
October 25, 2017 Updated: October 25, 2017 at 8:57 am
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DENVER, CO - JUNE 15: Vince (L) and Quentin with their two adopted kids Marcus (11) and Auriah (5) on June 15, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. They have been adopted parents for three years and are working toward adopting two more siblings. The state frequently uses them as emergency placement options.(Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post)

Colorado is facing a major shortage of foster parents, with a new analysis finding the state needs 1,200 more foster families within the next two years.

Nearly 10,000 children spent time in foster care last year, either with foster families or in group homes or residential care centers. On average, 14 children each day are removed from their parents and placed temporarily in the child welfare system, according to data released Tuesday by the Colorado Department of Human Services.

“You can be single; you can be married,” said Luis Guzman, acting director of the state Office of Children, Youth and Families. “You can own your home; you can rent your home. You can have tons of parenting experience; you can have no parenting experience. All that matters is that you are 21 years old and you are able to open your heart and your home to a child in need in Colorado.”

While there are 5,000 children now in out-of-home-placements, Colorado has just 2,000 certified foster families. The shortage means children are more likely to move to a foster family in another county, away from their school, sports teams, activities and friends. It also means they are more likely to split up from the siblings.

Read more at The Denver Post

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