LYNCHBURG, Va. – DePaul Community Resources is looking for 60 new families to foster children in Central Virginia.
"By fostering everyday love, you're treating these children... like one of your own. You're not just bringing them into your home and treating them like a foster child. You're integrating them into your family," said Emily Moore, regional recruiter for DePaul.
The organization has launched a new campaign called, "Fostering Everyday Love" to help connect a child with a new family. But DePaul and the Unlimited Potential Foundation say many of these children may have a problem with substance abuse.
"Young people in our community are using at an ever increasing rate," said Dr. James Stewart, COO of Unlimited Potential Foundation.
The organizations say the children and young adults they see are coming from homes whose parents are abusing opioids or the children are using it themselves. The youngest case they had was for a 6-year-old.
"It's pretty hard to swallow. It's scary to know that in our community, there are children that young that are grappling with substance abuse issues or in a home where they're being exposed (to the) sale and manufacture of different substances," Moore said.
In 2017, DePaul helped 96 children in the area find foster families and placed in a safer environment. By May this year, they hope to do it again.
"These children are looking for no-matter-what families, families that are going to be there for them when they make mistakes, families that are going to help them when they need recovery of their own," Moore said.