The opioid epidemic has hit West Virginia particularly hard and it is being felt much deeper than just those who use the drugs. One place that has felt the crisis is the foster care system.
“There has been an influx of kids coming into the system more so than ever before and then we have a shortage of foster parents, foster homes within the whole state which has caused a crisis,” said Zeke Davis, General Manager at NECCO.
The shortage of homes has left DHHR with few choices of what to do with these children.
“Just yesterday I was talking to a DHHR worker and they had a 15-year-old female that they were going to possibly spend the night with in a hotel,” said Davis.
The only answer to the current crisis is for more people to step forward and take in these children.
“You just want to help all of them you know there’s so many terrible, terrible stories, so many things these kids have been through that you can’t even imagine an adult going through never the less a child and foster parents are so needed,” said Heather Keck, her and her husband Rick Keck have been foster parents for two years.
“That’s the future of this state. You know who if not us, who’s going to take care of these kids to get them to be adults that’s a responsibility we should all put on ourselves is to take care of these kids and show them support,” said Heather.
The Kecks were inspired by one of their children who became a foster parent and now they’ve inspired another daughter to do so as well.
“If you’re willing and able and have the resources, why not do it, I think it’s kind of selfish if you don’t,” said Channing Childers, Heather’s daughter Lexie’s husband.
If you are interested in becoming a foster parent go to https://www.necco.org/, there are branches of NECCO in Charleston, Huntington and Logan, WV.