Indiana’s supply of foster parents is dwindling.
The state says more foster parents are needed because caseworkers are having to remove children from homes at an increasing rate because of parents' drug use.
Foster parent Brice Langebartels is a firefighter and has seen the drug use firsthand.
“I mean I’ve seen people unconscious on the ground with kids walking around the house, so it’s really sad,” Langebartels says. “It’s sometimes hard to be on those scenes.”
Department of Child Services Regional Director Peggy Sorbey says children have to be separated from a number of dangerous substances.
“Those drugs could be anything from marijuana use to opiate use, prescription drug use. We’ve seen an increase in heroin use. We also see cocaine use and meth, as well,” Sorbey says.
Statewide, 2,400 more foster parents are needed than at the same time last year.
DCS officials say if caseworkers are unable to find a long-term foster family, they may place a child in a temporary foster home.