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On The Edge

  • 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.