Tulsa foster care system in crisis
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) —
The state of Oklahoma is dealing with a major foster care crisis.
With nearly 8,500 children in state custody, there are just not enough homes.
While the issue is statewide, Tulsa has a larger shortage of available homes than Oklahoma City, according to workers from the Department of Human Services.
“We have the fewest amount of available homes. We already have 52 percent being placed outside of Tulsa County,” said Glen Evans who recruits foster care homes.
Evans says many times when children are taken from their families, they have to go miles -- if not hours -- away from the community they know.
“I know we have kids in Oklahoma City; we have kids in Ada, Oklahoma. I have taken kids to Bokoshe, Oklahoma, which is quite a ways away,” he said.
Another problem is not enough diversity in homes. They say they need families that will accept teenagers.
African American and Hispanic families are also needed.
“Especially children who might only speak Spanish and might end up in a home where there is no one who speaks Spanish in that home,” said Evans.
You don’t have to be perfect to be a foster parent, you just need to pass a background check and complete 27 hours of training.
Tulsa County currently has about 1,400 children in care just waiting for a chance to find a family.
If you are interested in giving a home to a child in need, you can find all the requirements on the Oklahoma foster care website.
You can also call for information at 800-376-9729.