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Number Of Foster Parents Down As More Kids Need Place To Go

The number of foster families in Maine is down as the number of children in foster care has risen, in part due to the opioid crisis.

Portland Press Herald reports that Maine had 1,493 licensed foster homes as of July 1. That figure represents a decrease of more than 200 in just two years.

Meanwhile, Maine has seen a 45 percent increase in the number of children in foster care, from 1,268 in 2012 to 1,842 in 2016.

The newspaper spoke with more than a dozen foster families who said unsustainable caseloads, mismanagement and poor communication has left them feeling frustrated.

Lawmakers recently approved a $21 million spending bill including increased funding for foster families. Lawmakers approved another bill saying Maine must only make reasonable efforts to keep families together.