Irmo, SC (WLTX) -- Hundreds of children in Richland and Lexington Counties need help.

Boys and girls are in need of a foster families in South Carolina. People who can safely care for them, when no other family member can step in.

News 19 caught up with one local foster family to learn more about their journey.

"In February 2017, we had our first kids come into our home and it's been a wild, beautiful ride," said foster parent Andrew McIntyre, of Irmo.

"It's been a journey," said McIntyre's wife, Tiffany.

The McIntyre's say being a foster family is their way to give back.

They say the opportunity to open their home to children in need was a blessing.

"We were going through infertility at the time, and literally we decided to become foster parents because it just happened," said Andrew. "It literally fell in our lap."

They went through the application process, including thorough training and background checks before becoming licensed in late 2016.

The following year is when two siblings, a 9-year-old and 2-year-old stepped into their lives.

"Going from just being us two to now a family of four, it was different" said Tiffany. "They had to learn us. They were looking at us, we were looking at them. We were like, 'We're going to figure this out together!'"

After a year, the couple had another calling.

"Our situation developed," said Andrew. "We had them for a year, and it actually developed into adoption."

The McIntyre's help other families learn about foster care, in efforts to get more children into a good home.

Wednesday evening, the couple received another child; A 5-month-old just yearning for love.

"I know most foster people say, 'Hey, that's not kind of my thing because I may get too attached'," said Andrew. "But I think the biggest thing is just being a reminder that if you have a temporary mindset, you're doing this to help a kid have a warm loving home for a temporary time period, I think any kid would appreciate that love."

May is Foster Care Awareness Month.

"[These families] step in and rescue children when they need it most," said Chrysti Shain, the Public Information Officer of the State Department of Social Services (DSS).

Shain says there are 600 children in Richland and Lexington counties in need of a foster family. The department is currently 300 families short.

"If we had that, that would enable us to keep children in the same school, in the same church," said Shain. "They could be on their soccer team and still go to dance class or cub scouts. Their network of friends and support would still be in place."

The first priority for DSS is to reunite these children with their families. If that isn't possible, they'll look for adoptive homes.

"I never thought being a foster parent I would have this much joy, especially with this child not being biologically mine," said Tiffany. "But having them in my home and knowing that they're loved and seeing them know that we love them, I think that's a beautiful reward."

As of May 1, there are 4,500 children in foster care in South Carolina.

For potential foster families, the McIntyre's say it's not about how much money you have or whether you're married or single. If you have love in your heart, you can be a foster parent.

"Sometimes we'll still wake up and I'm like, 'There are kids in our house!' There are little feet running around, laughter in the background, crying sometimes. It's a beautiful feeling," said Tiffany.

"Really that's where it all starts, love and patience," said Shain. "We'll help you through the rest."

If you're thinking of becoming a foster parent, and to learn more, visit or call 888-828-3555.