While there are jobs readily available due to the oil boom in West, Texas, this boom is bringing on a host of problematic circumstances. One such circumstance is the influx of children into West Texas’s foster care system.
Your Basin spoke with High Sky Children’s Ranch Executive Director JaLynn Hogan who noted the oil boom as the reasoning for the uptick in foster care placements. She also noted that children are often prevented from visitation with their parents due to location issues. Hogan told Your Basin, “So, on average, about 515 children are placed in foster care in the Permian Basin, or the region nine area, and about 48% of those leave the region.”
The children’s ranch is attempting to expand to meet the growing needs. In the meantime, there is a demanding need for more foster parents. In an effort to meet those demands, Hogan says that they have to divert their resources and cut down in other areas.
While the oil boom seems to not be slowing down, the issue is only expected to worsen. As agencies expand, many are scrambling to figure out what to do to meet the problem head-on.
Hogan notes that the solution to the problem will be more foster parents. Hogan explains, “Individuals could just step up and say ‘I could help, you know, I can help provide a home for a couple of children for a sibling group, while their parents get the help they need.’”
High Sky Children’s Ranch has made their website available for those interested in reaching out about becoming a foster parent. There, you can also find contact information as well as more about what being a foster parent will entail. For up-to-date information on what is happening with foster care in Texas, you can visit the Texas CASA website for the latest news.