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Foster Parent Shortage in Muncie

Seeds of Life, Inc. looking for foster parents

MUNCIE, Ind.--- Seeds of Life, Inc. is recruiting foster parents after Indiana has struggled with a foster parent shortage. Ashley Heath, foster home licensing specialist for Seeds of Life, Inc., said substance abuse is a reason for the shortage.

“Right now, especially in Delaware County, there is a huge opioid crisis and that means a lot more children are coming into the system, and there’s not enough homes to fit those children,” Heath said.

Children in Muncie are moving to foster homes two to three times on average during their stay, and their stay in foster care lasts on average 600 days, according to Heath. 

Seeds of Life, Inc.'s mission is to keep children in their homes and prevent children’s initial placement into foster care. 

After seeing a need in Madison and Delaware County, Seeds of Life expanded outside of its Indianapolis location. 

Heath, who started on the home-based side of the foster care system, jumped at the opportunity to help in Muncie and surrounding areas.

Now, Heath not only helps with home-based work (casework for biological parents and supervised visitations), but also Heath is able to work with foster care parents.

“Parenting skills and substance abuse has always been kind of a passion of mine,” Heath said.

Heath said Muncie per capita is fairly high for foster care. There are 173 children in the system and 71% of those kids are placed in kinship, relative care or foster care. 

Heath mentioned that Indiana is experiencing a sky-rocketing number of parents dealing with drug addiction. 

“These kids are coming from instability. You hear of them raising themselves…so a lot of kids come with a lot of behaviors that foster parents aren’t able to accommodate,” Heath said. 

Foster parents are only required ten hours of training annually, according to the state, leading Heath to the conclusion that some foster parents are not able to handle the high behaviors. 

Heath hopes to recruit more foster parents in Muncie and provide additional parenting resources for parents to be able to increase their skills. However, since August, they have only had two recruits that are licensed right now.

“We really are desperate for people who are interested, so if people have ever thought about being a foster parent, now is really the time that we need you. There’s a lot of children being placed and then removed from foster home to foster home and they need those services right now,” said Heath.

If you are interested in becoming a foster parent visit https://www.seedsoflifehomebase.com/

Contact Katherine Sehgal with comments at klsehgal@bsu.edu