The number of children in foster care is rising in Warren County

BOWLING GREEN Ky. – One can never forget the importance of being part of a healthy family. According to Kentucky Youth Advocates, nearly 67 children per 1,000 in Warren County live in foster care.

The number has grown from 58 per 1,000 children recorded from 2011 to 2013.  Additionally, the percentage of children being reunited with their families after exiting foster is only 35 percent. People who work at childcare agencies like Potter Children’s Home in Bowling Green, have noticed the numbers.

“I’m always discouraged when I see the numbers. I sometimes say that I wish a place like Potter Children’s Home didn’t have to exist. Unfortunately, there’s always been a need,” Potter home executive director Ralph Brewer said.

Warren County Sheriff Brett Hightower said he sees the separation of children from families in his day-to-day job, mostly due to drug abuse rendering the parent unable to care for the child.

“The unfortunate side of this is that when people are using and abusing and become addicted to those drugs, they’re unable to provide the proper care in homes for the children,” Hightower said.

Hightower is a foster parent and said while the main goal is to reunite the children with their families after rehabilitation, he’s glad to be part of the fight.

“I’m very thankful that myself and other families are able to step in the gap during these unfortunate times, while a lot of these families are eventually able to regain themselves and become the parents that everybody dreams to be,” Hightower said.

Hightower said the numbers aren’t a reason to give up, but rather a reason to fight harder for the kids.

This is a great community with a lot of caring people that want to surround and support people who want to do the best things for their families.

“There are so many great organizations across Warren County that are specifically designed to reunite families and take care of these children,” Hightower said.