Need for foster families grows as Ohio's heroin epidemic continues

Need for foster families grows as Ohio's heroin epidemic continues

BEREA, OH (WOIO) - Those who have heard and read about heroin overdoses in Ohio may not have considered what happens to the children left behind when someone dies from a heroin-related problem.

Simply put, the increase in heroin use also means a greater need for foster families.

"Never enough, we never have enough," said Holly Spencer-Trueman, a foster parent recruiter for OhioGuidestone.

Perhaps more importantly, she's a foster parent herself.

"Kids came into foster care not because they did anything wrong, so they need to have a typical childhood in the midst of things that are not so typical," said Spencer-Trueman.

She said about 80 percent of children that currently need foster care are in that position because of some kind of drug abuse.

"There's suddenly an uptick in the need, in terms of the heroin epidemic has just gotten crazy in the last year or so," Spencer-Trueman said.

She said way more babies and infants need care, which is unusual.

"Our perceived demographic of drug addicts is being turned on its head. Heroin addicts come from everywhere," Spencer-Trueman said. "Everywhere."

Becoming a foster parent is a big commitment, and isn't for everyone, but there is a bigger need now for those special people.

"Every day you are seeing stories about adults making really bad decisions," Spencer-Trueman said. "I want you to keep asking yourself -- what if there are children involved? Then ask yourself -- where maybe did those children go?"

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