ODESSA — Next month, twelve children will be adopted here in Ector County as part of its celebration of National Adoption Day. But the county is low on foster homes, and wants to raise awareness among the public.
Over 400,000 kids across the United States are currently in foster care right now, and here in Ector County, that number is close to 100. The need to give children stability and permanent homes is tremendously high, according to a Child Protective Services judge for the county.
“We’d like to get the word out that anybody that’s interested or feels the call to do that, to step forward,” Tracey Scown, an associate judge for child protection here in West Texas said.
Though next month’s event will be a time to celebrate families who’ve stepped up to bring a kid in, it’s also time to shed light on a deeper issue.
“A lot of what we’re looking for and trying to raise awareness for is the older kids; sometimes they stay on the list longer,” she said, noting that typically younger children are the first to go, while older children seem less desirable. Because of that, behavioral and social problems arise later on in their lives, according to Scown.
“Typically you see older kids in the system that have trust issues or bonding issues; they have a hard time making adult decisions later in life,” said Casey Hallmark, a volunteer coordinator for CASA, or, Court Appointed Special Advocates.
What it all boils down to is getting a child into a permanent home as quickly as possible.
“By having national adoption day and CASA being more out in the community, and we have great foster to adopt agencies here in the county,” Hallmark noted.
There are three agencies right here in the Permian Basin you can get involved with if you’d like to adopt a child: Addie’s Hope, Buckner, and High Sky Children’s Ranch—all of which are foster-to-adopt organizations.
The National Adoption Day celebration for Ector County will be November 3 at Crossroads Church at 10 am.