LUBBOCK, Texas — Since January 2020, cities across Texas have seen an increased need for foster families as more children are left without anywhere to go.
“Saint Francis serves over 1200 kids, and we are seeing quite a bit of movement, especially in the teen population,” said Saint Francis Ministries Community Engagement Advisor Erin Baxter. “The hard part is there are just not enough foster homes.”
With Lubbock reaching capacity in all 180 foster homes and 11 child-placing agencies, Saint Francis is on a mission to recruit more families to keep children in the system from being relocated.
“If you are aged 10 or above in the child welfare system in Texas Region One (covering 41 counties in the Panhandle and the South Plains), you have only an 11% chance of coming back to the region,” said Baxter. “That means 89% of those children in that age range don’t get to stay here.”
Agencies like Children’s Home of Lubbock and Guiding Hope have also worked hard to care for these children, but they are not meant to be their forever home.
“We’ve seen children that have left Guiding Hope go into a foster home, and you can just see they smile again,” said Vice President of Child Welfare at Guiding Hope, Beighlee Franks. “It may seem so simple, but for some kids, they haven’t smiled since they entered care.”
More recently, Saint Francis has also extended space through their temporary rooms, so children have a place to stay before moving to a more stable setting.
Right now, there are 86 children looking for their forever home, which is why Saint Francis stresses the importance of more local families stepping up to keep them within the community.
If you have ever considered fostering, you can contact Erin Baxter at (806) 317-5631 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.