Thank you to the Morgan County Citizen for bringing to light the alarming trends surrounding opioid abuse and subsequently, foster children.
These trends have rocked communities across the country and Georgia and it is only getting worse. According to the Foster Care Institute, over the last two years, the nation has seen an increase in the number of children being placed into foster care, due much in part to the opioid epidemic strangling America.
Unfortunately, Georgia has had the largest increase during this time, seeing the number of children placed into state care rise from 7,600 in September 2013 to a staggering 13,266 in November of 2016. These statistics coupled with the state’s ongoing challenge securing foster parents and homes make for the perfect storm leaving the very children who need us most in the most vulnerable place many people could imagine.
The Boys & Girls Clubs, along with the Georgia Department of Families and Children, partner to play a small role in changing the lives of as many foster children as we can reach.
In 2017, Boys & Girls Clubs in Georgia served almost 500 foster youth and already this year, more than 300.
Today, 20 foster children attend the North Central Boys & Girls Clubs. At Boys & Girls Clubs, we work to save and change the lives of children and teens, especially those who need us most, by providing them with a safe, positive and engaging environment and programs that prepare and inspire them to live meaningful lives and achieve great futures, in spite of the situations they may find themselves in today.
Our staff are comforting, caring mentors who aim to fill the gaps that the lack of positive role models leaves in so many of these children’s lives. Our programming focuses on growing and positively impacting the whole child. We help these children achieve academic success, arm them with necessary life and character building skills and help them learn how to make healthy choices.
Most importantly, our clubs provide a safe, joyful environment that becomes “home” to so many children who otherwise do not have one to go to. Another great resource for our children and families.