Aiken in need of foster care parents

South Carolina in need of foster parents

(WFXG) - South Carolina is in need of foster parents and even more so here locally.

Wednesday one Aiken foster parent group held an informational session urging potential parents to come forward.

Just in Aiken County there was nearly 900 kids in need of foster care. The sad part, is if there aren't enough homes, these
local kids have to be sent to places farther away where there is one.

"Earlier this year, I had a knock on my door," said Mattie Ross.

Mattie Ross is a star foster parent in Aiken.

"The young man said 'you don't recognize me do you'? I looked and I said no," said Ross. "He pointed up and he said that used to be my room. And you cooked the best food!"

Stories like this are why Ross says the work you put in returns tenfold.
"I don't know whose arms went out first, but we just embraced and stood there. Now that, there is nothing like it," said Ross.

Ross has been in the foster parenting family for 15 years, but her house can only take in two kids at a time. Having to send kids, who are already
going through a lot, to homes outside of their community is incredibly damaging for that child.

"We are dealing with a deficit in the amount of homes we have, last year, 2015, about 870 children came through the system in Aiken area and the
surrounding counties and in the state of South Carolina there was a total of 7,300 children were processed through the department of social
services," said program coordinator Kecia Smith.

Ross understands the need and she has done as much as she can, but hopes others will have the same devotion she does.

"With a lot of children in the program, and a lot of children out there. I don't focus on helping them all. I can't help them all, but the 
ones that come my way, I'm devoted to that child," said Ross.

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