State needs Malheur County families to foster children

By Pat Caldwell

The Enterprise

ONTARIO – It is five o’clock on Friday afternoon and Lou Schneider is on the phone trying to find help.

As Schneider, an area foster care coordinator for the Oregon Department of Human Services, works the phones, she finds herself in a familiar position: searching to obtain a suitable parent to embrace a foster child.

“The homes are full,” Schneider said.

Locally, state official face a lingering shortage of certified foster parents and the problem is only growing, especially with younger children.

“Our greatest need is for people who can take one of the little ones – babies and toddlers,” she said.

Yet the need does not end with younger children.

“We need . . .