A World For Children - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

A World For Children

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Every eight minutes a child is abused or neglected in Texas, according to Child Protective Services. And one out of 50 children is confirmed cases of abuse in Wichita County, Child Protective Services records show.

That is larger than the statewide average of one out of 95 children. The high numbers have given a foster agency, called A World For Children, a reason to open up Wichita Falls.

This agency is hoping to recruit families for foster care in the area. The new office will provide training, management, and licenses for foster families.

“When the children are removed from the parents by CPS,” said Samantha Taggart, Case Manager at A World For Children, “we help place them in foster homes. We manage them while they’re in the homes until they are either returned to their homes, or placed in adoption,” Taggart said.

 The office started moving to Wichita Falls in August 2013. The need for foster families in this area is in high demand, according to Taggart.

 “They remove kids on a daily basis here, and there are just not enough homes for the children,” Taggart said. “The children have to be placed far away which makes it harder to re-unify with their parents.”

The problem in the rural areas in Texoma is that drugs are playing a large factor in neglect and abuse, according to Taggart.

“There are just not enough foster parents. There’s a lot of drug use in this area, it’s a lot of meth use. A lot of children are removed due to meth,” Taggart said.

To become a foster parent there are many factors, and processes you have to go through. However, foster care is very rewarding, according to one foster parent. Debra Barry has been a foster mom for almost 30 years.

“Well I feel real good because it’s a ministry, taking care of a kid is a ministry,” said Barry. “A lot of people look at it as being a job; I don’t look at it as being a job. I look at it as just taking care of kids.”

 Barry specializes in fostering special needs children. 

“It’s a lot of work, and a lot of time, but just giving them the structure and loving them in a way you can,” Barry said “If you let them know you love them then they will be fine.”

Another foster mom has fostered children for 40 years. Becky Sanford, had five children of her own, adopted three children, and cared for over 100 foster children.

Now she specializes in working with medically fragile babies.

 “Later on it became something that we just felt like was part of our destiny, that's what God called us to do,” Sanford said.

Foster parents also have to keep up with service hours every year, even if you are a foster parent already. Foster parents need 30 hours of service per year.

A World For Children will be offering multiple services at the new location, including having conferences for the parents. Even though the agency just got settled into the new home, they are already very busy, Officials for A World For Children said.

 “When I started they had two licensed homes, and now they have has 12,” Taggart said. “We have had a couple close to adoption, five that will be licensed by the end of the month, and 10 more about to start training.”

The grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony is June 19. There will be a tour of the new building and finger foods until one o’clock.