SPOKANE, Wash. - The foster care system in Spokane County is in a crisis right now. Over the last three months, it's placed nearly 250 children in homes, and the demand for homes is still high.
"It's rewarding to know that you are doing something to start their lives out," foster parent Ginger said. 60-year-old Ginger has been a caretaker for foster kids for the last 15 years. 80 kids later, she feels like it's her way of giving back.
"As I have gotten older I know for this world to work, we all need to help however we can and this is my way of helping the community," Ginger said.
A few years ago, she decided to take a break, but now she's back. "When I saw the need was really great, I started to start back and do it again," Ginger said. Now, she's taking care of a baby boy.
Recently, the need for foster families has grown significantly in Spokane. "When our Home Finders have to sit and call home after home trying to figure out where to place children, that's a crisis," Linda Rogers, a regional recruitment specialist, said.
Rogers said this is the biggest crisis she has seen in years. "The last time they needed to place they had called nine homes before they found one to take the baby, the other homes were full," Rogers said.
Their biggest need right now is for families to take in newborns, teens and siblings. "We are called to help in our community and even if you just help one child, you are helping that child for a lifetime," Rogers said.
As Ginger continues to care, she knows she's made a difference in the children's lives whether they remember her or not. "I have had parents come up to me that I have had their children in the past and thank me for what I did," Ginger said.
Because of the increase in demand, now some foster kids in Spokane may have to move out of the area to be placed in homes.