Missing Child Haven kids shine light on foster need - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Missing Child Haven kids shine light on foster need

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J.D. Smith outside having fun with his family. (Elizabeth Watts/FOX5) J.D. Smith outside having fun with his family. (Elizabeth Watts/FOX5)

The story of five children walking away from Child Haven is shining a light on the need for foster families in the Valley.

"There are ups and downs. It has been more positive than negative being a foster parent, but you're going to experience that in everything you do in life," foster parent J.D. Smith said.

Smith has been a foster parent for the past seven years. They currently care for two foster kids and adopted four others.

Smith was upset after hearing about the five kids leaving Child Haven. He said there is a need for not only foster homes but ones that can take large sibling groups.

"The possibility of them being split up because there's not enough families that can take large sibling groups - that was kind of on my heart last night," Smith added.

He said the children in the system have done nothing wrong. They were just in unfortunate situations and need love and care.

The Department of Family Services said in 2012 there were about 550 foster family licenses in the Valley. The system cares for about 3,000 on any given day.

"It was an amazing experience watching these kids - what they went through. It's so wonderful to help them to see them happy," foster parent Marissa Rock said.

The Rocks are caring for five siblings in their home and noticed a huge difference in them once they were reunited.

But they worry about what will happen to the five children who disappeared from Child Haven and all the other children who are in need.

"I pray that the five siblings that were found are all in one home, but realistically I don't think that's going to happen. There's an extreme shortage of families that will take in such a large group of kids," Donald Rock said.

To become a foster parent, you have to go through a criminal background check, home study, training and, of course, you need resources including space, time and a big heart.

To learn more, visit the Clark County's Foster Care page, or call 702-455-0181.

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