Foster Homes Urgently Needed in Minnesota
Danny Demery has a biological mother, an adoptive mother and a foster mother, Danielle Anderson. Anderson is the only one Demery calls “mom.”
Demery, 22, has been in and out of Anderson’s north Moorhead home since he was a baby. Though he’s “termed out” of the foster system, he remains there under an agreement Anderson has with his parents.
“It’s the only home that I've ever had ... considering that a home is loving and caring,” he said.
Anderson, 43, has three biological children. In addition to Demery, she fosters two teenage sisters so they can stay together, rather than be placed in separate homes.
The need for more licensed foster parents like Anderson is urgent, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
The number of children in the state’s foster care system on an average day has increased by 14% over the last two years.
In 2016, about 8,850 children who couldn’t safely remain in their homes needed to be placed in family foster care or a group residential facility. In 2018, that number rose to 10,050 children.
Due to the increase, many county and tribal agencies have a shortage of family foster homes.
Rachel Osborne, therapeutic foster care coordinator for Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, licenses and supports foster parents.
She said they receive referrals every day for kids in need of homes.
“We don't have the capacity to place all the children,” Osborne said.