WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – With a significant increase in the number of children under the care of Trumbull County Children Services, officials say the need for foster parents is growing.
Jessica Jaros and her husband are first-time foster parents caring for three siblings.
“Once we met them, we just fell in love with them,” she said. “They keep us very busy. We enjoy it a lot, there’s a lot of rewards with being able to provide them with care and have them with us.”
Trumbull County Children Services says there are currently 140 children in foster care, up by about 40 percent from the year before.
“The increase in numbers is definitely linked to the opiate crisis,” said supervisor Dee Dee Prezioso.
This means that the county’s nearly 70 foster homes are extremely full.
“Our homes are very full right now because of the number of children coming into our custody, so we are in need of foster homes. Really in need of homes for teens and sibling groups, but we welcome any home for any age child.”
“Having them in a stable environment makes a huge difference, knowing that they’re welcome and they’re accepted and things like that. Goes a really long way for a lot of these kids,” Jaros said.
There are several requirements for those who are considering becoming foster parents. They must:
- Be licensed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
- Be at least 21 years old
- Provide a separate bed for each foster child
- Have sufficient income to meet the needs of the household
- Go through security clearances, fingerprints, medical and psychological exams
- Be committed to caring for children
- Be able to accept children as they are and work with the birth family and agency staff
- Provide support and be a strong role model
For more information on foster parenting, visit the Trumbull County Children Services website or call them at 330-372-2010.