Calhoun County looks to recruit quality foster homes

Updated: Saturday, February 23 2013, 12:48 PM EST
Calhoun County looks to recruit quality foster homes  story image
CALHOUN COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Calhoun County is battling the increasing demand for quality foster homes, as more cases of child abuse and neglect flood the system.
To keep up with demand the state has issued a mandate for the Calhoun County Foster Care Coalition to recruit 22 new licensed foster care homes by June.
The Calhoun County Department of Human Services says right now, more than 150 children in Calhoun County are in out-of-home placement, desperately needing a good foster parent to look after them.
"I'm seeing a lot of cases of children being born, testing positive for meth and other drugs, they're also neglect, a lot of deplorable home conditions," said Andrea Kaye, a Foster Care Licensing Specialist with DHS.
These children are a big reason why the Calhoun County Foster Care Coalition put on the "Foster Parent Plus One Challenge" event Saturday in Battle Creek.
 It was a way for people like Monica Vasquez to learn more about becoming a foster parent.
"I like kids, and I want to give them a safe home to come to, in between the troubled periods of their life," said Vasquez.
Speaking at the event was current foster parent, Christy Davis.
Davis was honored for looking after 50 kids in the last two years.
The job she says is both challenging and rewarding.
"Some days you bang your head up against a wall.  Other days, the smiles on the kids’ let them know they are loved to see them grow, see them happy," said Davis.  "You just have to try it, once you have your first kid you want many more."
To become a foster parent, the process can take up to five months.
The county is also looking for licensed foster homes who will simply take children for an overnight or weekend emergency.
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Calhoun County looks to recruit quality foster homes
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