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Foster care families in great need across the Midlands

The need for foster families is greater than ever before, according to the SC Department of Social Services.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) says there are more than 4,000 kids in foster care across South Carolina, and the need for foster families is greater than ever before. 

Lisa Brockington started fostering in January, saying she always wanted to be a foster mother. Now, the mother of three has two foster children living with her.

“This fulfillment that I feel is so similar to mothering, and it’s just such a great opportunity to be a positive impact for these kids,” Brockington said.

According to the Department of Social Services, there are 4,041 children in care: 601 in Richland County, 16 in Fairfield County, 167 in Lexington County, and 105 in Kershaw County.

RELATED: New statewide initiative aims to reduce need for foster care in South Carolina

Brockington says the biggest struggle is finding daycare for foster children, saying foster parents are on daycare waitlists.

“They’re on these waitlists, and they can’t find any child care coverage," Brockington said. "It means they have to say no to a placement that may need childcare when they go to work.”

Brockington says the lack of daycare spots means foster parents are saying no to placements because they have no one to watch the children while they go to work. “We want to say yes to every call but it’s quite difficult when you have to choose to work as well.”

Connelly-Anne Ragley with DSS advises foster parents to reach out to the agency if they're struggling to find daycare. “If a foster parent is having an issue finding child care, I would encourage them to talk to their licensing specialist and to their case manager.”

RELATED: SC foster families needed desperately as some children wait for homes in county offices

Brockington says she wants to see more facilities accepting SC Vouchers, which makes payments to child care providers. “It would be so encouraging if we had more opportunities to have more childcare providers," she said.

Brockington's recently received the Local Foster Care Innovator Award for her acts of kindness and supporting others in the foster care community.

If you are interested in becoming a foster care giver head to the DSS website to begin the application process.

RELATED: Richland County DSS has a new playroom for kids, thanks to local ministry

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