There's a critical shortage of foster care homes in Texas. The situation is so dire, some kids are forced to sleep in CPS offices.
Kathy Friend has been a foster mom for 19 years, offering infants comfort while they face harsh situations.
"90 percent of our babies are born positive for drugs," Friend said.
Over the years she's fostered 31 children, the entire time working with The Children's Shelter that places kids with foster families.
"We thought we were so worldly, and knew so much about the world, and then we started fostering," Friend said.
Now the Children's Shelter is quickly running out of options. Last year it couldn't place 2,700 kids in Bexar County because there weren't enough homes.
Sometimes the children have to leave the county, are placed with relatives and, in dire situations, sleep in CPS offices, according to Anais Biera, Vice President of External Affairs for The Children's Shelter.
Now they are dealing with new rules after a federal judge said the state system subjects kids to negligence and abuse. They're worried about a lack of 24-hour supervision.
Relatives have to pass background checks before children can stay with them.
Biera is now worried that the trend of not being able to place kids will only increase and hopes more families like Kathy will come forward, willing to open their doors when needed most.
"There is such joy in knowing you helped them," Friend said.
The number of kids sleeping in CPS offices did go up, with 16 kids spending at least two nights in an office last month, which is more than three times the number from the year before.
The Texas Department of Family Protective Services says there are multiple reasons, including not having enough foster homes or shelter beds. There's also the matter of making sure the children are cared for properly, especially if they have special needs.
Now The Children's Shelter is launching a new campaign called #2700 to recruit more foster families starting April 1 and running through May.
You can learn more at https://www.childrensshelter.org or by calling 210-212-2590.