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Inside America's critical shortage of foster care homes


The U.S. foster care system is broken.

“We are in a massive crisis,” Serita Cox, CEO and co-founder of the nonprofit iFoster, says. “And that crisis means that we have kids living in a casino or living in an office building or living in juvenile hall when they’ve done nothing.”

There’s a critical shortage of foster homes. More than half of all states saw a significant decline in licensed foster homes last year. Some states saw cuts as high as 61%. There are many reasons behind the decline. One of the main factors: new foster parents don’t stay in the system.

“You could be getting all of these wonderful foster parents in, but if you’re losing 50% of them in their first year … it’s basically a sieve,” Cox says.

Today, On Point: The crisis in American foster care.


Serita Cox, CEO and co-founder of the nonprofit iFoster, the largest nationwide virtual network for children, families and organizations within the foster care system.

John DeGarmo, foster care advocate who’s been a foster and adoptive parent of more than 60 children since 2001.

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Brittany Yates, Jewell Harris, Enrique, and Glenda Wright, former foster youth.

Mikaila Reinhardt, a former foster child and now family recruitment specialist for the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina.

John Connery, the director of recruitment at the South Carolina Youth Advocate Program.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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