CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Many things have slowed down or stopped during the coronavirus pandemic, but one thing that hasn’t is the state’s foster care crisis. The National Youth Advocate Program is making foster care courses available the same way most of us are accessing our work…at home on a computer or smartphone. They say there is no better time than now to take action and help end West Virginia’s foster care crisis.

“A lot of people have thought about foster care but thought I never have the time… but now would be the perfect time because they are all with their families and they do have some extra downtime… now is the time because we can work around you and get you started,” says Denise McGinty with NYAP.

According to NYAP, currently, there are more than 7,230 kids in foster care in West Virginia.
That number has grown by nearly 300 since April of last year. At the beginning of 2020, there were nearly 200 fewer kids in the system than there are right now. The rise in numbers is a trend foster care advocates fear isn’t ending anytime soon.

“We are anticipating that need is going to grow even higher due to this and the kids being at home and at risk,” McGinty says.

April is child abuse prevention month so the NYAP is asking you to help them reach their goal of creating 30 foster homes before the month is over… all from the comfort and safety of your home.

“We can do one on one training if you don’t want to be on the Team’s format and that schedule doesn’t work for you, telehealth, facetime we can make it work for families because there is such a need,” McGinty adds.

The next online group class starts Monday, April 6.