Pandemic causing severe shortage in Georgia foster parents, organization says

There is an urgent need for more foster parents across Georgia with the pandemic dramatically slashing interest.

Laurel Heights Foster Care blames the decline in caretakers on several things. First, some of the kids in need of homes have COVID-19. Petruska Bryant-Lavert, director of Laurel Heights Hospital’s foster care program, said the health crisis has also made it difficult to hold recruiting events and stifled families' financial stability.

These challenges have impacted programs statewide.

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Bryant-Lavert said she empathizes with potential parents' concerns but reminds people fostering can be a life-saving decision.

“We want the kids to be placed, but it's hard to tell somebody to take a child even with this challenge going on,” Bryant-Lavert said. “You can't judge them because they have a right to want to be safe … It's just a really hard place to be in.”

She said the existing parents have shown continued support and commitment but the program is hoping to recruit new caretakers.

You can learn more about fostering at the program’s online event Wednesday, Oct. 28.  

The Zoom ID for the event is 963 7101 1623 and the password is 710625. You can call 404-888-6040 with any questions.

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