Foster Parents Needed in W.Va.

The National Youth Advocate Program is seeking qualified foster parents to help care for the many foster children in the state of West Virginia.

Statistics from a 2015 Department of Health and Human Resources report indicate that children are entering care in West Virginia at a rate of 8.5 percent per 1,000 children in the population, which is almost triple the national average of 3.2 percent.

The need for foster parents is increasing nationwide. The latest available statistics from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System show that for fiscal year 2014, 415,129 children were in foster care in the U.S., which was a 4 percent increase from 2012. In that same time period, 264,746 children entered care. That translates to a child entering care every two minutes in the U.S.

Foster parents have the important task of taking into their homes children who have been abused, neglected, abandoned and face tremendous obstacles. Foster parents provide the link to help these children go on to lead happy, successful lives.

The National Youth Advocate program, based in Columbus, Ohio, has 31 offices serving seven states. NYAP’s West Virginia offices are located in Fairmont, Parkersburg, Wheeling and Martinsburg. Individuals interested in getting more information about foster parenting can call 304-366-5832, or go to www.nyap. org.