D.C. area faces foster parent shortage

Orelia Teasley has been a foster mom for years.

Years ago she nervously took in two brothers: Then 11-year-old Deangelo and 12-year-old Ben.

The brothers could have been separated and bounced from family to family. but they ended up with Teasley.

“If it wasn't for her, then I don't know where I would be,” Ben says. Given the statistics, it’s possible he could be out of school, homeless or in jail.

Tonya Logan, a foster parent recruiter in Maryland, says you can be single, married or a same-sex couple to adopt.

“Anybody who has love and a home and really feels committed to helping a child, or a teenager, then we can consider you,” Logan says.

Logan says foster parents get a monthly stipend, as well as training and support.

Maryland has reduced the number of children in foster care in recent years, but there is still a critical shortage of foster parents everywhere. In northern Virginia, bilingual foster parents in particular are needed.

But foster parents are needed especially for older children, those with special needs and siblings.

Like Deangelo and Benjamin, both now high school seniors who thanks to a stable home have awards, plans for college and a true sense of belonging:

“There's a lot of love going around,” Deangelo says. “You become part of the community you're in. You got neighbors and friends and such all over the place. You start to live life.”

And this life has had an amazing twist: Teasley adopted the boys.

For more resources, click on the links below:

Child Welfare Information Gateway

National Foster Parent Association

MD Dept. of Human Resources

Mentor MarylandInformation Session is scheduled for Aug. 1 at 4 p.m. at the Lanham office4501 Forbes Blvd., Ste. 140Lanham, MD 20706

DC Child and Family Services AgencyVA Dept. of Social Services

United Methodist Family Services

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