One Texoma community is seeing an alarming issue an increasing trend in the number of children in foster care.
With that number on the rise, Montague County is now, more than ever, facing a shortage of foster families.
Through programs and informational sessions Child Protective Services hopes they can get more foster homes in Montague County.
It's all in hopes of keeping children near the place where they grew up and not in homes or facilities hundreds of miles away.
It's a staggering number, 53 children in foster care in Montague County. CPS says that's double the number from the previous year. There's another 64 kids in family based services.
"Montague County has been in either the top 5, 6, or 10 counties in Texas for confirmed cases of child abuse over the past 15 years," said David Lawson of the Montague County Child Welfare Board.
And it's only getting worse, Lawson and Child Protective Services say it's in large part due to drug and alcohol abuse.
"Meth is probably the most underlining factor we see in the cases we've had referred," said Randy Neff of Child Protective Services.
It's a challenging and almost impossible task to get parents to stop using methamphetamine so that's why they're addressing their children.
"We're going to have a panel of ex drug users and current drug users who are in prison now and have them talk about how meth has affected their lives and how they ended up in critical situations," said Lawson.
By informing the children they hope it will prevent them from using drugs. Yet this doesn't eliminate the fact there aren't enough foster homes.
"We have about seven foster and adoption homes in Montague County," said Neff.
It's likely the kids will then be sent miles away to a shelter.
"These children deserve to have a family to know they are safe and loved and cared for," said Lawson.
You can be that person. Although a huge commitment there's no doubt a foster parent leaves an everlasting impact on a child's life.
For families interested in becoming a foster parent. The Department of Family and Protective Services will hold an adoption and foster care information meeting in Bowie on August 2, from 6 to 7:30.