January 11, 2006
It’s a child placement program that places foster children in homes, but the Georgia Youth Advocate program says it now has more children than families. The agency says it needs more families to open their homes.
Everyday Nina Jones works to find special needs children foster homes. The problem is right now there are more children than families willing to take them.
“We place those that are more difficult for DFACS to place,” said Nina Jones, Intake Coordinator.
Loads of paperwork shows just how many children have not been placed. Their profiles will go in this box, no available placements until a family is found.
Nina receives profiles of children from all over the state through the Department of Children Services. Right now there are 57 children that have been placed through this agency. John Williams and his wife have five foster kids.
“It takes a village to raise a child and my wife and I became motivated to become a part of the village,” Williams said.
Charlie Hannah also has two kids placed through the agency. Hannah says it’s not as easy finding homes for children that have behavioral or emotional problems.
“There’s a reputation that proceeds them quite often and it’s not always like that,” Hannah said.
Nina says she needs more foster parents. Right now she has 20 profiles of children waiting to be matched with a family.
“If I don’t place them they are usually going to stay in the institution or the group home or some will remain in DJJ,” Jones said.
“Once you put them in a better environment and be patient they really become non-statistical children,” Hannah said.
This Saturday the agency will be at Beluah Grove Baptist Church providing two workshops for people who want to learn more about the program. Also, you can call the Georgia Youth Advocate Program at 774-6404 for more information.