JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Same same-sex adoptions and state funding are the two major topics surrounding the Mississippi Foster Care System.
The Methodist Children’s Home is waiting to see how these changes might effect their foster homes.
There are currently 5,000 kids in the Mississippi Foster System.
Mike Dugger, CEO at Methodist Children’s Home said the kids have been placed in several different foster homes before they come to Methodist Children’s Home.
“These kids don’t trust,” he said. “These kids have been failed by the system. They’ve been failed by adults.”
A long-running lawsuit said the state needs to do more to protect the children. Lawmakers recently put in $34 million into the system, in an attempt to avoid a federal takeover.
“They’re really trying to recruit more qualified social workers,”They’re trying to improve the environment in which the staff works in.”
Dugger said she hopes some of that money goes directly to foster homes.
“How much money is going to trickle down as far as us taking care of the kids,” he said. “That’s something that we’re waiting, and we’re asking because we’re the ones that take care of the kids.”
Dugger said he would like to see more resources available to help the kids. He said a lot of their funds come from donations.
“We’re reimbursed less than half of what it costs to take care of the kids. But we have great churches. We have great business partners that are helping to make ends meet.”
A federal ruling this year allows same-sex couples to adopt in the state. Dugger said the policy guidelines are still in the works, but every child needs a home, and he’s even had students that identify with the LGBT community.
“We need families to open their homes up to kids that might be a little different,” he said. “But they still got a lot of hope. They still have dreams. They may not look like you. They may not think like you, but I still believe in them.”
Dugger said he needs a least 40 families this year to open their home to foster kids at Methodist Children’s Home. A meeting will be held on June 16 at 5 p.m. at the Flowood Library for anyone interested in more about it.