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'Every Child Coos County': Organization works with DHS to help foster children situation

(KCBY image)

COOS BAY, Ore. -- An audit of Oregon's foster care system shows management failures and high caseloads are putting kids at risk.

In Coos County, there are nearly 278 children in foster care (as of January 28) and more entering the system every day, officials say.

The problem is, there aren't enough foster homes.

"Every Child Coos County" is an organization that works with Department of Human Services to help children and families.

They say everyone has something to bring to foster care.

"Every child - we really believe that this is not just a state agency problem, that DHS is only as strong as the community that comes alongside it,” said Every Child Coos County director Melissa Hart. “So, these issues and problems aren't going to be resolved until the community steps up and comes to the plate."

Hart says there are many ways for the community to help besides becoming a foster parent.

"Maybe it means that they are volunteering at a local event where foster families are bringing all their kiddos; maybe it means that they're just bringing a ladder to a foster parent or creating a welcome box for a child that's coming into care."

There is more information at everychildcoos.org.

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