DHHS: More than 500 parent-less Maine kids looking for ‘forever homes’

Mary Mayhew at a news conference

DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew. BDN file photo.

The Department of Health and Human Services put out the call Monday for more families to step forward to help children in need.

Here are the sobering statistics: There are 1,990 children in foster care. Of those, 502 are seeking adoption. If you think about it, 500 kids out there wondering if they’ll ever have a family of their own is about as sad as it gets. You can see some of the kids who need homes here.

“Unfortunately, the number of children in need of safe, healthy and happy homes is far outpacing the number of families willing and able to help them,” said Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew in a written statement.

There’s a need for foster and adoptive families for kids of all ages, but it’s especially pronounced for middle school and high school-aged children (11 years old and up), particularly for those with behavior issues.

There are more than 1,300 households in Maine currently licensed as foster homes. Becoming a foster home begins without having to make a full commitment. The first step is attending an informational session hosted by the DHHS Office of Child and Family Services. Moving forward in the process involves an application process, three positive references, a criminal background check, a fire safety inspection of the home in question, and a DHHS home study to identify strengths and needs of an applicant’s home.

Does this sound like a good fit for you? Contact Foster Family Program Manager Linda Brissette at (207) 624-7964 or email linda.brissette@maine.gov.

Christopher Cousins

About Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.