Roberta Brunk could have easily become a victim of circumstance. Growing up in an abusive home and being moved around to different foster homes and schools could have permanently shaped her life and set her up for disaster, but she didn’t let that happen.
Linda Morgan, executive director at Broyhill Children’s Home in Clyde, said she’s seen the pendulum swing many times during her 42 years working in the system. Some years the cottages at Broyhill are sparsely occupied, but the children’s home has been at capacity with 50 children for a solid two years.
As Caroline Kernahan talked about why she wanted to be a foster parent, her 4-year-old daughter Claire climbed into her lap and asked when her new brother or sister would be coming to stay with them.
Donna Lupton, director of social work in Haywood County, admits that fostering a child or teen isn’t for everyone.
In a perfect world, every child would have a loving family and a safe home to return to at the end of the day, but it’s not a perfect world. The reality is that thousands of children are removed from their homes each year in North Carolina.
Foster care agencies continue to see the number of foster care cases increase and the opportunities to reunify those children with their biological parents decrease. It’s a trend many Western North Carolina counties are experiencing.
Illegal drug abuse and its repercussions are costing Haywood County taxpayers.
An increase in drug use has led to more drug-related arrests. That means more inmates in the county jail, which it turn takes more jailers.
The number of children in foster care in Haywood County is on the rise, a depressing sign for Department of Social Services workers whose first goal is to keep a family together.
“Growing up in foster care or growing up in an institution is no way to grow up,” said Ira Dove, director of the county’s Department of Social Services. Dove presented his case to the Haywood County Board of Commissioners Monday, requesting additional money to pay for the increasing costs of running foster care.