"These are the kids that we need to take care of more than anybody," said Jamie McCormick with Texas Alliance for Child and Family Services.
But they’re also the ones spending nights sleeping in CPS offices across the state on air mattresses.
"A lot of times the kids that are the hardest to place," said Arnold Valdez with Depelchin Children Center. "Teenagers, children with challenging behaviors, sibling groups, those are the kiddos most affected by this."
"Many times they’ve just experienced significant trauma that’s related to the reason they’re in foster care in the first place, the abuse or neglect they’ve experienced," McCormick said.
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But what these kids need, they are not getting and Child Protective Services puts some of the blame on the pandemic.
"Making sure that we are able to place the children in safe nurturing homes is the most important thing and the pandemic has definitely put a hinderance on us doing some of that," Valdez said.
"There are some foster parents who may not be comfortable taking in a child right now because of the risk involved," said McCormick.
According to CPS’s own numbers between May of 2016 through May of 2017, an average of 50 at risk youths were spending at least two nights sleeping in a CPS office on an air mattress.
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Those numbers took a shocking rise beginning in October of 2020 with more than 100 at risk youth sleeping at least two nights in a CPS office.
Just last month that number was 186.
Again the kids affected include those with challenging behaviors like Autism.
"Not knowing where they are sleeping, not in a place that they know, is not the best situation for a child like that," Valdez said.
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