YAKIMA, WA - There are 510 foster children in Yakima County and only 207 licensed foster homes according to the Foster First licensing agency's website.
"They try their best to find homes, but there's just not enough," said one Yakima foster parent, Michelle Sisson.
Sisson takes care of five kids including her foster kids every day. She said she treats each one as her own and the pandemic never changed that.
"I give them what they need and just love them as if they were my own because they are," said Sisson.
Although the pandemic has caused some safety concerns when bringing in new kids, she says knowing they are safe with her is all that matters.
Right now, her house is full, meaning every time the agency calls her, she has to say no.
"It’s not just the capacity of how many we can take, it’s the capacity for how many kids I can make sure I give them 100 percent of what they need," said Sisson.
The need for families that accept kids with high behavioral challenges has increased since the pandemic said a Foster First licensor, Greg Reichenberger.
Sisson and her husband are one of those families.
"No one likes to see these kids just flounder in the system, they do best when placed in a loving home," said Reichenberger.
Sisson said she hopes more people open up their homes to kids in need.
Foster First plans to expand their agency to the Tri-Cities said Reichenberger.