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County Seeks More Foster Parents

People interested in becoming foster parents and caring for neglected or abused children are being sought by the Public Social Services Agency of Ventura County.

“We need more homes,” said Louis Dixon, a county social worker. “It’s becoming a crisis situation.”

An orientation and informational meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Senior Nutrition Center, 2220 Ventura Blvd., in Camarillo.

The county has 1,000 children in foster homes at any one time, and as of this week only 240 foster homes for those children and any others who need care, Dixon said.

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In 1991, the county had 363 foster homes.

Last year, 483 children were placed in foster care, up from 348 in 1991.

The majority of Ventura County foster children were neglected or physically abused. Fewer than 10% placed in foster homes last year were sexually abused and about 1% were drug-addicted babies, Dixon said. About a third of children placed into foster care last year were younger than 5.

Foster parents receive between $345 and $484 per month for basic care.

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“Foster parents must have no criminal history and have room in their home and room in their hearts to care for these children,” Dixon said. “They can specify what behavioral problems they are willing to deal with or not willing to deal with, what sex the child is, how many children they will take, what age range they will accept, and they always have the right to say no.”


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