Too many foster kids, not enough foster parents in Wake County

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – In Wake County, more than 700 kids are waiting for foster homes, but there are only about 200 foster parents.

County officials hope to finally give these kids a place to call home, even if it’s temporary. May is Foster Care Awareness Month.

One family enrolled in the county’s program is the Porters.

Walking into their home, it’s clear that there is a method to the their madness – organized chaos.

With six kids, the youngest 11 months old and the eldest 13 years old, it’s somewhat expected that life is little hectic at times.

Four of the kids are foster children.

“Yes! We have an extra bedroom. We’re gonna do this,” mom Jessica Porter remembered the moment she decided to become a foster mom.

It’s been five years since Porter and her husband decided to say yes to becoming foster parents.

And the couple has never looked back.

“I get that it’s hard to look at it (foster care) and ask, ‘How are you capable of loving the hurting children, the children that are coming from the messy places that don’t have the neat, tidy stories behind them?’ But at the same time, my question is, ‘How do you not?’ she questioned.

Wake County says the end goal is to reunite foster children with their families, but they need people like the Porters to provide that temporary care.

Kenisha Hinton, Wake County’s child welfare program manager, said she’s looking for “Somebody that believes in themselves and be that constant for them and when they mess up in school or when they make a poor decision and when they didn’t do exactly what we asked them to do and they go and do something different that they are still and they’re committed and that’s what we’re looking for.”

And Porter says that the call of duty isn’t as daunting as it may appear.

“We’re not superheroes, we’re regular people,” she said. “I hide in the closet so I don’t have to share my chocolate with my kids like all the other regular mom friends that aren’t foster parents.”

There are challenges, but the mom of six tells CBS North Carolina it’s worth it.

“I can tell you about each and every single one of them and how amazing each and every single one of them is but then I’ll never stop crying. They’re amazing- they are little heroes. They’re—amazing.”

If you’re interested in the foster care program and how you can help, click here.

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