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Jackson County DHR says they need more foster homes in the area

JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. - More than 400,000 children in the United States spend time in foster care and officials say this number is continually growing.

The Jackson County Department of Human Resources is reaching out on behalf of their community to anyone interested in providing a home for these children.

There are over 100 children in the care of Jackson County's DHR every month, and it's just a reflection of a growing problem across the nation.

"We believe that's typically due to drug use. In the state of Alabama, about 40 percent of the children that come into care is due to drug use," said Emma Tubbs of Jackson County DHR.

She said the number of children needing homes increases, while the number of foster homes decreases.

"What we really need is for families throughout Jackson County to open their hearts and open their homes and be willing to take in foster children," said Tubbs.

They're making a call to action and reaching out to any qualified and interested individuals in Jackson County.

"To be a foster parent you have to be at least 19 years of age," Tubbs said. "You don't have to be married, but if you are married you have to be married for at least one year to foster. You have to be married three years to adopt."

DHR conducts a series of background checks, drug screenings and even fingerprinting through their system. Prospective parents will also go through a 10-week foster class just to make sure they're ready.

"My husband and I have been foster parents for the last two years and I will say it's been such a blessing," said Tubbs.

She said children can be sent all over the state if they can't find enough homes. That's why they work hard to have foster parents in every community.

"It's going to make such a difference in their lives to be able to have stability."