Racine County proclaims May as Foster Care Month, hopes to increase foster families to 100

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RACINE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) - May is National Foster Care Month and Racine County is looking to celebrate its foster families.

Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave signed a proclamation Monday, May 2, honoring foster families in the county and encouraging more people to give it a try. The county is still down dozens of foster care parents.

"All counties are really struggling right now," said Debbie McGraine, Racine County foster coordinator.

There are more than 7,000 children in foster care in Wisconsin. About 120 of those are in Racine County alone.

"Our hope and goal is we're able to re-unify those children with their biological families," McGraine said.

Twenty-nine kids are living outside the county because there aren't enough families to care for them.

"Imagine how traumatizing it is to be removed from your home, but then possibly be removed from your whole community, having to change schools," McGraine said.

More foster parents have signed on in the past four years, though. In 2018, more than 100 kids had to leave Racine County because there weren't enough homes. McGraine said there are currently 70 foster families. She wants to see that number increase to 100.

"We're really struggling now with the teenage ages. Those are more difficult ages to place. A lot of foster families want little ones, babies, but we could really use more homes interested in taking teenagers or sibling sets," McGraine said.

The county proclamation also urges Racine County residents to consider giving fostering a try.

"Many foster parents say yes this is a very challenging job to take on, but many say it is very rewarding," she said.

If you are interested in fostering in Racine County, call 262-638-6356 or CLICK HERE

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