GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.-
The number of Mesa County kids in the need of foster homes has soared to the highest level ever seen before.
Ariel Clinical Services is reporting record breaking foster referral numbers over the last two weeks. Officials say they doubled their previous foster referrals record of 14, this past February.
“Just kind of blew up,” said Rebecca Ely, foster care coordinator at Ariel Clinical Services. “We had 30 placements for the month of February so we have been just crazy with kids and every thing else.”
But officials say they're not too sure why.
“It's too soon to tell,” said Carrie Over, deputy director at Ariel Clinical Services. “We are seeing kind of across the board mental health illnesses, drugs and alcohol abuse and domestic violence.”
The folks at Aerial were able to place every last child in a good home. However, that means all of their foster care facilities are at their absolute maximum.
“You just hope people come forward and hope that they want to license as foster parents,” said Over.
“I think the more people that would just step up, and do it, and go for it, they'll realize the rewards far out weight any consequences of making that choice,” said Jayelle Dolan, who has been a foster parent for over 2 years.
Dolan currently has three placements in her home and says though it has its ups and downs, it's totally worth it.
“We felt lead by god to do that and thought it was really important to reach out to children,” said Dolan. “The kids that come into foster care usually have a traumatic background of some kind. They have a reason that they are being removed from their home so sometimes there are obstacles for those children to overcome.”
Officials don't know what March will have in store for them, but are expecting the number of referrals to go back down to normal, which is only 2 to 5 a month.
If you're interested in helping out Ariel and volunteering as a foster parent, call 245-1616 or click here.