(NEWS CENTER) -- Hundreds of children enter into the state’s custody each year and foster families are needed to step-in to provide children with the home they all deserve.
However, over the years, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services has seen an increase in the number of children needing placement without an equal rise in participating foster families.
Maine’s heroin and opioid addiction levels are affecting more families each year and the repercussions are putting the state’s greatest resource -- our children, at risk.
Community prevention efforts such as “parental education” and “substance abuse treatment” are working to reduce the number of children in and out of home placement but DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew says those programs cannot do it alone.
According to the Office of Child and Family services, 870 children entered into state custody last year. Although the majority will be placed with their relatives, the state will still need approximately 66 new foster families to step forward.
For April Belyea, taking that leap was one of the most rewarding decisions she’s ever made.
April has said that she will never forget the night she officially became a foster parent.