CINCINNATI — Drug abuse and overdoses are what area foster agencies say is behind a growing problem. There are more foster kids than foster parents. Now one agency is doing something about it and hoping a new software program will get more foster parents licensed faster. 

What You Need To Know

  • An area foster agency, Beech Acres, says they're seeing an increased amount of foster children and not enough foster parents to help

  • Foster parent educators say when drug abuse numbers go up so does the need for more foster families to help 

  • Beech Acres recently started using a new software program called Binti that allows potential foster parents to enter their information online, and make the licensing process faster 

Kaitlyn Livingstone is a new mom again. She just got a new foster baby, one of 13 kids she’s helped foster in the last year, on top of her own four.

“It’s actually not as hard as you would think to juggle all the things, you just have to be very scheduled and like detail oriented, because sometimes there are appointments you have to go to, there are visits you have to go to, there’s different sort of court hearings,” said Livingstone. 

She says sometimes foster kids end up with her because of their biological parents’ drug abuse.

“The kids are not responsible for what they’ve been through, so they need to know love. They need to know what love feels like and they need to know there are people there for them,” said Livingstone. 

The problem is, there aren’t enough foster parents for them.

“Right now the number of children versus the number licensed homes we have in Ohio outnumbers the homes two to one,” said Ryshel Bowling, Beech Acres licensing and train team manager. 

Beech Acres is a foster care agency in Cincinnati.

Bowling says the number of foster kids is going up because of the amount of drug abuse.

“We know that babies that are born every single day that are addicted to substances. We also see it affects children that are school-aged, or children who have higher needs,” said Bowling. 

She says they’re doing something about it. They’re trying to get more foster parents licensed and approved to keep up with the increased need. They’re making the process faster through an online program called Binti.

“They can fill out an online application, they can upload all the paperwork and really complete that heavy load digitally or electronically as opposed to all that paper stuff,” said Bowling. 

Livingstone says she got her first foster child three days after she got licensed online and she’s not done yet.

“So funny enough, I think I wanna foster more. I’m like, I’ll take more kids, it’s fine,” said Livingstone.