Story originally published by ABC Fox Montana Great Falls

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Great Falls – About 3,000 children and teens are entering the foster care system in Montana every year. The need for foster homes is a statewide issue, and that need is borderline desperate here in Cascade County.

The non-profit Youth Dynamics says that during the month of September, 500 children and teens in Cascade County entered the foster care system. However, there are only 80 homes that are licensed to provide foster care in the entire county. That’s why workers at Youth Dynamics are asking for your help.

Right now they’re looking for people who are willing to open up their homes and hearts to newborns, kids and even teens who are up to 18-years-old.
“The best environment for them is going to be with a trusted adult that they can rely on and who’s going to love them,” said Olivia Swartz,who is the Family Development Outreach Coordinator for Youth Dynamics in Great Falls.

In fact, pretty much anyone can become a foster parent, and all it takes is a five step process.

“A lot of our training is provided online. We also have monthly in-office trainings that I do,” said Swartz.

Each teen or child would also need his or her own room or living space and adult role models there who want to make a difference.

“And provide an environment where they can heal from whatever those past experiences were that caused
them to taken away from their home,” said Swartz.

If you’re willing to take a child into your home but are worried about the costs, Youth Dynamics is providing monthly stipends of $850 to all foster parents. They are also looking for people who would be willing to watch foster kids for short periods of time, such as on weekends. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent or would like to learn more, contact Youth Dynamics at (406) 453-5592 or visit their Facebook page here. 

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