Some foster children sleeping in CPS offices, state says

HOUSTON – A Houston-area nonprofit organization is accepting donations of new bedding for children without a permanent home.

The Sanctuary Foster Care Services has collected pillows, sheets and blankets in hopes of helping foster kids, including those sleeping in CPS offices.

“We just jumped in to help and to make sure that we could support them in any way that we can because we know that everybody is trying to do the best that they can in this situation,” said Executive Director Amanda Boyd.

According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, the number of children in Harris County who spent at least two nights without a traditional foster care placement increased from 49 in May to 60 in June.

When it comes to children without placement, the state said some stay in CPS offices while others are in hotels and church or community facilities. DFPS said the problem is not new but recently became worse because of COVID and a loss of beds for kids with intense care needs.

“Wherever the children are, they are supervised 24/7 by DFPS staff. DFPS is actively seeking real solutions every day with the safety of the children we serve always at the forefront,” said DFPS spokesperson Melissa Lanford.

Most children without placement are teenagers with a history of psychiatric or behavioral issues, the agency said. The state said it is working with providers to identify unused space and working to fill 100 temporary jobs to relieve employees who work with these children.

As for the donations, The Sanctuary said it hopes to help children in other parts of the state based on the response it’s received so far.

“We started this on Friday night and it has picked up speed rather quickly,” said Megan Lagoy, The Sanctuary’s community relations director.

For more information on The Sanctuary’s efforts, you can visit their Facebook page.

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