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On the Edge: The issues facing families with children in Western North Carolina

On the Edge
Brittain Peck
/
for BPR
On the Edge

On the Edge: The issues facing families with children in Western North Carolina

From child care and diapers to foster care placements, local officials and community members are sounding the alarm that there aren't enough resources for children in Western North Carolina. Are western North Carolina families headed toward a cliff? BPR's Lilly Knoepp and Laura Hackett explore this question in the three-part "On the Edge" series.
  • Since the pandemic, fewer families have been signing up to become foster parents. In North Carolina, the number of licensed foster homes dropped by 23% in 2022. In Jackson County and others across the state, children are sleeping at department of social services offices with nowhere else to go. Advocates say a combination of new policies and additional funding are needed to help families.
  • In counties west of Asheville, child care can be difficult to find. For parents in Cherokee, Clay, Graham and Jackson Counties, the task became nearly impossible in mid-October when Southwestern Child Development Commission shuttered seven centers leaving 300 children without care.