SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa foster care officials are leading efforts to recruit and retain foster families as the state deals with a shortage of available homes.
The Sioux City Journal reports that over 4,000 children are in need of a foster home in Iowa.
Western Iowa has the greatest need for foster families because it has the highest child removal rate in the state. An Iowa Department of Human Services Child Welfare Bureau official says it's the result of a more active juvenile justice system and a higher rate of drug use in the western part of the state.
Foster care providers say there's also a demand for African-American, Hispanic and Native American families, as well as families willing to take teenagers, children with special needs and sibling groups of three or more.
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