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State Faces Critical Shortage Of Foster Families

loveiswritten via Flickr Creative Commons

State officials say New Hampshire faces a critical shortage of foster families for a growing number of children.

About 1,000 kids will enter the public system this year, yet there are only 600 licensed foster homes, and many of those are not prepared to take in a child at this time.

Michelle Galligan with Child and Family Services in Manchester says the state is particularly struggling to find homes for sibling groups, sometimes with up to four children at a time. And the problem has gotten worse in recent years.

"We know in the state we’re seeing an increase in the heroin issue – many states are seeing that – so that could be a reason why we’re seeing an increase," says Galligan.

State officials are actively looking for more families and say all types of people are potentially eligible to foster – for example, you don’t need to be married or own a home, so long as you pass an extensive background check.

Before joining NHPR in August 2014, Jack was a freelance writer and radio reporter. His work aired on NPR, BBC, Marketplace and 99% Invisible, and he wrote for the Christian Science Monitor and Northern Woodlands.
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