The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reports more than 6,000 children in the foster care system.  

Those numbers are on the rise and causing serious housing issues for children in need.

“Our numbers of children in foster care have greatly increased due to the opioid epidemic, and there just aren’t enough foster families to keep up with the number of kids that are in care,” said Mission West Virginia Frameworks Director Rachel Kinder.

Officials say though the number of children needing services in on the rise, and available foster homes is on the decline, organizations need to work together to come up with a plan.

“There’s a lot of misconception about what foster care is, what the requirements are,” said District Community Services Manager Rick Parks.

“It’s good that we coordinate all the providers and the community services, churches, legal system and try to get a coordinated effort to recruit more foster homes, people that will serve all of the children of our area.”

Barbour County officials came together to learn what is working and what may need a little innovation to better serve the community’s growing need.

“We’ve identified an extra large need in this county,” said Kinder.

“They know their resources the best.  So, they know the barriers, but they also know things that we can tap into to help recruit.  So, they can identify resources that can help us with our mission.”

Participants will meet again in December to discuss strategies and an action plan for the area.