Updated July 22
A new coalition plans to expand and improve foster care services in the state. It launched a pilot program in Lake County to increase equitable recruitment of foster parents and support for foster families.
The program is called Foster Together Indiana and aims to provide homes to children in need through the Lake County foster family recruitment and retention coalition.
According to the Indiana Department of Child Services, there are around 11,500 children currently in foster care in Indiana.
Foster Together Indiana founder Takkeem Morgan said the idea is to have a collective approach to recruit and retain foster parents.
“My research over the 18 months that I was placed at the Department of Child Services indicated that foster parents end up leaving the job far too soon because they don't get adequate support,” Morgan said.
Under the program, a team of committed volunteers will work alongside foster and adoptive families to provide practical, emotional and spiritual support.
The pilot program is supported by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Hands of Hope and Lake County Legacy Foundation.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story said there were around 30,000 children in foster care in Indiana. That was incorrect. From June 2020 to June 2021 there were a little more than 30,000 children in the foster care system over the course of the year. There are currently about 11,500 children in foster care.