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Indianapolis family fosters dozens of children as state looks to add more foster parents

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – There are thousands of Hoosier kids in need, but while that need is growing, the Department of Child Services said there are not enough foster parents.

One Indianapolis family is making it their mission to help however they can.

“Just the fulfillment in your heart is basically what keeps us doing this,” John Murphy said.

He and his wife, Yvonne, have fostered more than 40 children, adopted one and taken guardianship of another. They said they made the decision to become foster parents after caring for a relative born with cocaine in their system.

“I mean these kids they just need stability they just need love and you know more than their basic needs met,” Yvonne Murphy said.

But more parents are needed to care for the growing number of children in need.

According to DCS, in April 2016 there were 20,821 children in need of services statewide and 6,445 kids in a non-relative foster home. As of April 2017, there are 23,793 children in need of services and 7,133 kids in a non-relative foster home.

“We have seen certainly the drug use in our communities has increased tremendously and I would say in looking at the risk factors that’s certainly the number one area,” Peggy Surbey, the regional manager for DCS’s region ten office, said.

DCS reports as of Tuesday, there are 5,761 licensed foster homes in Indiana.

“We have to look at the needs of the child so on paper it may look like that we have foster parents, but that’s a changing number,” Surbey said.

At the Murphy’s house it’s not about numbers, but they said it takes just one child to make fostering worth it.

“If we can just change the lives of a couple of kids then that’s what keeps us going,” Yvonne Murphy said.

They said they have no plans to stop fostering children in the near future.

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a foster parent click here.

DCS is also recruiting more than 100 families for adoption. If you’d like to learn more about adoption click here.