More Foster Parents Needed in the Permian Basin

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

High Sky Children's Ranch is a shelter in Midland that provides a safe place for children when they're removed by child protective services.

But because there aren't enough foster parents in the area, almost all of the children in High Sky's care have to get extensions on their stay.

"Almost every child gets an extension," Treatment Director, Jalynn Hogan, said. "It's pretty rare for there not be an extension."

It's an emergency shelter for children and their stay is only supposed to last 30 days or less.

But from infants all the way up to teens who come through the doors of High Sky Children's Ranch, that stay can last three months or longer.

"We've had children in the shelter for almost a year," Hogan said

Hogan says after some time, children are usually placed with a relative, go back to their families or placed in foster care.

Although extensions are never denied, sometimes a judge steps in.

"We have actually had the judge order that they move the children which means they end up far away," Hogan said.

Far away to cities like Waco, Dallas or even Houston.

Over half the children in the Permian Basin region move because there just aren't enough foster parents to go around.

"That separates them from their families and sometimes even their siblings," Hogan said.

So Hogan, along with all staff at High Sky Ranch hopes that more people will consider opening their doors for a child in need. Something she says is rewarding not only for the child but the foster family as well.

"They've made a difference in a child's life and that difference will last their whole life," Hogan said.