OUTAGAMIE COUNTY - It's an urgent need in Outagamie and Calument counties. Human services workers say there are more and more children in foster care and not enough foster homes. Now, they're hoping to turn those numbers around.
"The number of children who need placements has increased almost threefold within the last five years," said Outagamie County Foster Care Coordinator Bridget Wirtz.
When it comes to why those numbers have grown so greatly, foster coordinators say it's somewhat of a mystery.
"We have been asking ourselves that for the past several years, and we just don't really know why," Wirtz said.
It's not just Fox Cities children in need of foster homes. Workers in Green Bay say it's becoming increasingly difficult to place children, as well.
"The need for the more difficult kids is pretty high. We sometimes have difficulty with referrals, because we don't have options for them," said foster care worker Matthew Helsius.
No matter where you live, directors say the main requirement for becoming a foster parent is the same: being willing to open your home and your heart to children in need.
"They need a safe place to land that will help them deal with the trauma, who will help them feel as comfortable as possible, and who will stick with them for the long haul," said Wirtz.