200 kids in foster care in Marathon Co., only 43 homes to place them

By  | 

WAUSAU,Wis.(WSAW)-- Wisconsin legislatures took on problems in the foster care system this session and created a Foster Care Task Force Committee to help improve the system.

The committee held their fist public hearing on Wednesday in Wausau and Patrick Schmidt a local foster parent was there to talk about the struggles a foster family sometimes faces and what he would like to see improved.

"A year ago I started to recognize we had a influx of kids going into the system and a lot of it was a result of drug abuse. Because there are a lot of kids being placed there it's a huge burden on the number of resources there are for the number of children," said Schmidt.

Just in 2017 there has been a 9 percent increase in foster care cased in Marathon County and Republican Rep. Pat Snyder who is a co-chairman of the committee said a lot of those cases are drug related.

Currently, there are more than 200 children in the Marathon County foster system and only 43 homes to place them in.

"I just really think in order to stop the cycle we have to reach out and get these kids in stable homes especially in their early years," Snyder.

Although the meeting was only a listening session the committee plans to take the information and suggestions they heard and come up with solutions to help reunite these children with their families.

"Being able to give back to a child, being able to reunite them with their biological family and watching my own family come to life through the whole process is really rewarding," explained Schmidt.

Marathon County is also working to recruit younger families in the community to become foster parents when they are needed.