There are more than 16 hundred children in foster care in Central Texas. More than half are placed in homes hours away from their friends and family because of a shortage of foster homes.
"Foster parents are always needed, but right now we are in this sort of very chaotic state in where we have children sleeping in hotel rooms for days until we find a foster home who is willing to take them," said Child Protective Service's case worker Christina Garza.
In May 2016, CPS removed 73 children from their homes in Travis County, 29 in Williamson County, 13 in Hays County, and 17 in Bastrop County.
Garza hand delivered a thank you note and a gift to Tanya Kalbach. Kalbach and her husband are foster parents in Central Texas, but they said they're moving out of state.
"They have helped so many children and so many families,” said Kalbach.
Kalbach said being a foster parent has been life changing.
"They laugh and play and there was absolutely no difference with our foster kiddo and our biological kiddo, and that I think is the essence of it, if you can love on them just like you would if it was your own kid,” said Kalbach.
Now with the Kalbach's leaving, it adds to the already desperate need for foster families.
Garza said they need homes for children of all ages, and especially need families who can take multiple siblings.
Now that the family is moving, Nicholas Kalbach said he already misses his foster brothers and sisters.
"I'm a little sad,” said Kalbach.
Kalbach said the foster siblings even helped her son work through his shyness.
"They are just fun playing with ,” said Kalbach.
Now the family encourages everyone to open their hearts and homes to little ones.
"If you have the ability to love, I would say there are children out there who desperately need it,” said Kalbach.
"It doesn't matter if you are a single parent, one mom, one dad, two moms, two dads, we don't care, our children don't care we just need somebody to love them,” said Garza.
Now both CPS and the children in need, hope that someone will be you.
If you want to be a foster parent, the first step is an informational meeting.
There will be one Tuesday, July 12, 2016, at 6:00pm.
14000 Summit Dr.
Austin, Texas 78728
You can find more information on meetings here.
Here's more information on how to become a foster parent.