Utah’s foster care shortage; so many children, not enough homes

Child crying | Photo by evgenyatamanenko, Getty Images, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — More children are being placed in the state’s care than ever before, and a shortage of foster parents means there are more children than homes to place them in.

A plea for more foster parents was made during a National Foster Parent Appreciation Month event when playhouses were delivered to three foster care families in Washington County Wednesday.

Image showing the the number of children the state is able to place in foster care compared to the number of children going into the care of the state in 2017 | St. George News

Utah is experiencing so many children coming into foster care that the Department of Child and Family Services is having trouble finding foster homes for them, Ben Ashcraft, representative for Utah Foster Care’s southwest region, said.

These children are placed in state custody due to abuse or neglect.

Part of the reason for the increase is due to an increase in drug abuse, Ashcraft said in an interview in April.

Typically the state has had an average of about 2,400 placement spots available for foster children. However, with 2,900 children in need of care, 500 children remain without a foster family.

And that number may not go down any time soon.

“So far this year nearly twice the number of children went into state custody, increasing from 100 children to 200 per month over the last 12 months,” Ashcraft said.

“Foster parents are needed throughout Utah for children of all ages and races, especially for sibling groups of children from the same home, medically fragile children, teenagers and minority children,” according to a statement posted recently by the Utah Department of Human Services.

For more information on fostering or adopting a child who is in foster care, contact the Utah Foster Care in St. George at 877-656-8065 or visit its website.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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  • comments May 21, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    “So far this year nearly twice the number of children went into state custody, increasing from 100 children to 200 per month over the last 12 months,”

    what in the world is going on I wonder

    • ladybugavenger May 21, 2017 at 8:12 pm

      Stealing children for money

      • sgmama29 May 23, 2017 at 11:36 pm

        Seeing all your comments, I can tell you are completely in denial or suffer from mental illness. The state of Utah gets 60,000 calls a year about child welfare, of those 60,000 calls maybe 20,000 of those calls get investigated. And out of those investigations, as you read, 2,900 children have been removed from their homes. The state does not make money off of these kids. In fact, the state pays money to foster parents for their care. If your kids were taken away from you, I am sorry for your loss but that is your own fault. It had to be a very significant reason to remove a child from their home. And more often than not the first goal of foster care is reunification of a family.

  • Proud Rebel May 21, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    “These children are placed in state custody due to abuse or neglect.

    Part of the reason for the increase is due to an increase in drug abuse, Ashcraft said in an interview in April.”

    There is your answer as to what is going on. People are more interested in doing dope than in raising their kids.

  • Rob83 May 22, 2017 at 6:40 am

    This is so sad. It tells me as a society we can not take care ourselves (too selfish) let alone innocent children (tip, if you think the world revolves around you, perhaps consider NOT having kids). Foster parents requirements are very strict and with the so easily obtained DVs given out these days, no wonder. Have an immature spouse and you are screwed from getting to work a good job or helping out in the community!

  • Rob83 May 22, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Domestic Violence, a spouse lies about a false attack and the other person is put in prison and have a record for 7 years until it can get expunged.

  • NaturallyCurious May 22, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Well if they would quit stealing them then there wouldn’t be a shortage. They take them then ask questions later. Then, They will do whatever it takes to keep the child from the parent. They get paid to adopt the children out. This entity is not for families. They do anything to tear families apart.

    • ladybugavenger May 22, 2017 at 10:06 pm


    • comments May 22, 2017 at 10:17 pm

      Sounds like a conspiracy, ooooh. I tell u what, I actually called and reported some of my neighbors down the street who were beatin’ on their 6-7 years olds and the state DFS or w/e it’s called acted like they could care less. They were all like “can you report bruises or welts on the children?”, I’m all like “I aint even that close to them to be examining them for welts”, and they’re all like “sir, if there’s no physical proof of abuse we won’t be sending anyone out”, so I’m like “fine, whatever”. The hillbillies have since moved so I”ve no idea if them kids are still gettin’ beat. I figure I done my part; I at least tried. So this notion of the state wanting to “steal children” is absurd. Ladybug, you know I respect you, but I think we can agree, you were a pretty terrible parent (from what I’ve heard from u)

      • ladybugavenger May 23, 2017 at 9:25 am

        I’m sure I wouldn’t get an award or anything, I had full blown anxiety, thoughts racing through my head, and a lot of confusion, but I stood up for what I believed was right. I taught them about the Bible and my anti God family came against me. And yes, I spoke the truth about LA County and they stole my children to stop us. I stand here today knowing I did the right thing to overcome. I did the right thing having my kids write sentences. It’s not abuse but that’s the initial reason given to me. I let them go to their grandmas for the weekend but they had to finish their writing before they got home. (50 sentences) and my mom called DCFS for child abuse. My mom was never into teaching kids accountability, she was the if they do bad-buy them more things kinda person. PrIor to this, my kids stole from their grandma so I wouldn’t let them go over there. My mom called DCFS on me. My son stole porn from my dads house, so I wouldn’t let my kids go over there. I got DCFS called on me for grandparents rights. I was fighting against that so my kids didn’t grow up jacked up. But my mom had more money than me, and my father (lives a mile away from my mother) has lots of money. my mother apologized to me a year before she died. She said, I shouldn’t have done that to you. She said, I got cancer because of what I did. My father has never apologized.

        My husband already had reported embezzlement and was fired but we had one last hearing- the civil service commission. My kids were taken on an emergency order, but it took them 3 weeks to take my kids. Making the court date the same day as the covil service commission hearing. I don’t think I’m a terrible parent. i think LA County is terrible. I did take and hide my kids from the system for 1 1/2 years without incident, without a Bolo, without a kidnapping charge….what does that tell you? It tells me I did the right thing.

        So Bob, i should have been stronger, I should have gotten away from them. I was torn because that’s my mom but now I see my mom was against me the whole time.

        So Bob, I learned too much about the government. Too much to be ignored. Too much evil in this world. But I overcame it and did I tell you that I told my mom and daughter 10 times that my daughter can’t have a car until she gets GED. 2 weeks before my mom passed she was on the phone with my daughter, my mom said, can I help her with a car? I said ok. Thinking, after GED. But I’ll be darned my mom gave her credit card over the phone and paid more than half of the car, and my daughter had a car and I was like wtf? Why dont they listen to me. My daughter still doesn’t have ged and she voluntarily had car repo’d. You see, if she would have gotten GED then car, she would still have the car. I was fighting against my kids being rewarded for nothing. It’s always a loss to be rewarded for nothing. It’s over now, my mom passed in April 2016.

        • ladybugavenger May 23, 2017 at 9:59 am

          When DCFS and my parents moved on with their life, I was the one that had to pick up all the pieces. I was the one supporting my son through rehab, visiting him, writing him, hoping for him, praying for him. Where were they? They all forgot about the destruction of my children done by their hands. In doing this tho ,i got the reward of seeing my son overcome all of it. All of the mental and spiritual abuse done to him by others I get the reward and blessing of seeing him change his life around and being a part of it.

          My daughter, on the other hand, I’m still waiting for her to turn her life around….

          • ladybugavenger May 23, 2017 at 10:05 am

            my daughters life change awakening is coming, it’s coming. She’s 21 and it’s coming quick all she has to do is walk away from the destructive people around her. But she’s attached to them, it’s a reminder of her past, it’s comfortable. It’s comfortable but destructive. This momma doesn’t give up!

          • comments May 23, 2017 at 5:42 pm

            Well ya can never go back. All you can do is look towards improving things for the future. Hopefully u can get ur daughter under control

        • ladybugavenger May 24, 2017 at 12:15 pm

          Oh snap! She’s in Utah and I’m in Oklahoma. I ain’t fighting anymore with getting anyone under control. Her biological father is in Utah too. I can’t stand him so they can have eachother and I take no responsibility for her choices. She was living with her father at 15. I talk to her almost everyday, in fact, she called me crying saying she wanted to move in with me. I said, remember I have rules- can you obey them? no partying, no drugs. And I will kick you out if you break them….And she calmed down and is staying in Utah with her boyfriend…,

          So when she’s ready, my rules won’t phase her.

          • ladybugavenger May 24, 2017 at 12:18 pm

            You know how he got my daughter to move in with him? He told her she could party at his house (he’s a pot smoker for life) and DCFS let him have her…..yep, it’s all backwards isn’t it.

            But your right Bob, I’ve got a blessed life. I’m strong now, I speak up. I stand my ground, I go to work and I go home and play in my yard, and plant flowers and watch things grow and make it all pretty 🙂

          • ladybugavenger May 24, 2017 at 12:39 pm

            They didn’t officially give him custody. Remember,the ran away from DCFS custody and I drove her pregnant at 15 butt to Utah to live with him. And DCFS knew she was there.

            Shoot, no one listened to me bob…I told the social worker my son was on meth and they drug tested my daughter ( duh! She wasn’t on meth, my son was). It goes on and on Bob!

            And someone in Utah reading my posts about my life should feel better about their own circumstances…

            I look back and ask myself, what would I do different? There’s really nothing I could have done…there was the appeal to my husbands job going on so we couldn’t leave for Oklahoma until September 3rd 2008 and my kids were taken August 28th 2008.

            I guess I would have never told my mom we were moving to Oklahoma in 2008 cuz she stopped us in a bad way.

            So never tell anybody what your going to do. Life is like a game of chess. So I guess I would have learned to play chess.

            Was my mom a sociopath? It’s like she had a curse on me…a co dependant curse.

            In the end the last 2 weeks of her life is when I met the loving mother I always wanted.

            Get away from people that hurt you, even your own mother. We all deserve kindness and love. And surround yourself with people that lift you up and help you succeed. And get away from people that set you up to fail.


          • ladybugavenger May 24, 2017 at 12:48 pm

            Oh and my My kids were never adoptable. The judge made that ruling-not adoptable. That judge, Valerie Skeba, has since retired. She was awful! And no one saw my kids in a downward spiral, except, me and my husband….it was just horrible.

            Like i said, it goes on and on and on….. God is real, how do I know? Because evil is real, and the only way I’m still alive and at peace, with no anxiety, no depression, no mental illness….is because of God. Jesus went through so much more than I did. And I’m blessed to have gone through what I went through….it gave me eyes to see and peace to my soul. It’s amazing! Only God can do that!

    • sgmama29 May 23, 2017 at 11:52 pm

      They do not get paid to adopt the children out. Youre crazy, it costs the state $500 a month per child in foster care. Removal of a child is the last option the state has. They have to have pretty solid evidence of abuse or neglect to take a child out of their home. Its not done on hearsay or out of rumors, or mean neighbors… actual documented evidence presented to a judge who rules that the home is unsafe for the child. Parents are given a year or more to get their lives together and when they cant or refuse, that’s when adoption is the next best solution.

      • ladybugavenger May 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm

        I just simply have to disagree with you. They get money from the federal government. The more you take the more you make.

        There was no evidence of abuse in my case, the pictures they took of my kids, they are just smiling happy innocent kids that had no clue what was about to happen to them…..

        You see the social worker writes a report, then if it’s not good enough, the supervisor rewrites it. If the county attorney says it’s not good enough, then it’s rewritten again….my father was a witness for DCFS on paper and when I questioned him on the witness stand he had no knowledge of had ever seen abuse….and the case goes on….

        I will say my story was not in Utah this was in la County. Of course, you have to factor in that my husband worked for la County and reported embezzlement. Duh duh duhhhhhn

  • ladybugavenger May 24, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    I secretly recorded a “mediation” meeting that only included me and a mediator. Where was the third party? It’s heartbreaking to listen to. But I put it on the internet around 2009 or 2010….I challenge any one of you to find it and listen to it. It might be difficult not knowing my real name but that should never stop a good investigator.

    • ladybugavenger May 24, 2017 at 1:21 pm

      If you find it listen to it with headphones because she says something to me that you can only hear with headphones on…..duh duh duhhhhhhn!

      Warning: I sound like a lunatic but you go through what I went through and try not to cry and be mad as hell…..

      • ladybugavenger May 24, 2017 at 1:29 pm

        I also have over 100 pages on the FBI website IC3 documenting people following us and what we were going through as it happened. So, You know if we would have died….they would know exactly where to look. Dang, I need to make a movie but it’s soooooo painful. Although, this is my first time talking about it publicly. And it’s not a subject you bring up in conversation.
        I love St George! St Georgians were so good to me and my family! I can understand why you wouldn’t believe this stuff happens in the world. I love you all!

        • ladybugavenger May 24, 2017 at 1:53 pm

          Ok my second time on the internet talking about it….oops, don’t want to be a liar.

  • ladybugavenger May 24, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    I gotta tell you, it takes me about 2 days to recuperate from talking about what I went through. But I felt compelled to share a part of my story. Why? That I don’t have the answer for, but perhaps there is someone reading it that needed to know, they are not alone. Many sufferings I have gone through and it just made me a more understanding and compassionate individual. I have opinions that disageee with many and I share them on here with everyone else. But in the end, I think I earned respect from theone and godisdead and my favorites Bob and Dot.

    It’s good to disagree, we don’t all have to agree. But in the end, lets hug it out.

    We are all on the same side right? No drugs, more hugs….no stealing more healing….

    Stand up for what you believe in and one day you’ll know if you’re right or wrong….peace everyone, ladybug, has to take some time off to rejuvenate. God Bless you my friends!

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