2013 Saw a Disturbing Rise in the Number of Montana Children in Foster Care
As 2013 wraps up, it is clear that more Montana children were pushed into the state foster care system this year than in 2012.
"In December of 2012, we had 2,040 children in Montana on our foster care case load. At the end of December 2013, we have 2,189," said Child and Montana Family Services Division Administrator Sarah Corbally. "That's an increase of 149 children."
Corbally said there are a few things that stick-out as likely causes for the rise in foster care.
"We don't have the ability within our current system to track it perfectly," said Corbally. "We do see some increase over the past year in meth use, slightly, statewide. If you look at national data, most states have seen an increase throughout the recession as the economy has not picked up."
Though major changes are unlikely to occur in 2014, Corbally said that she is optimistic for the future. Montana was one of eight states granted permission to use federal foster care funds to help children before they are put into the foster care system. Corbally believes this preliminary aid will go a long way to preventing childhood abuse and neglect in the state.