Guilford County recruiting to fill gap for foster homes

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Chrishauna Horsley sits with her son Jaylen Horsley on Thursday at her office in High Point. (Andrew Krech/News & Record)

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — It was 9 on a weeknight when the Guilford County Department of Social Services called Chrishauna Horsley to see if she could take in a little boy.

“I was eating popcorn, sitting on the sofa,” said Horsley, a child-development worker who lives in High Point. “They asked if I could come pick him up from Greensboro, and I went there, and there he was, sitting on the floor, hugging a bear. I got him, we stopped by Walmart to get him some things, and, ever since then, I’ve been caring for kids.”

Horsley is one of 81 licensed foster parents in Guilford County, providing shelter and care for children who are separated from their families by the court system. The number of active foster homes in the county has decreased by about 20 percent in recent years, while the number of children needing homes has risen, a supply-and-demand mismatch affecting counties throughout the state.

Guilford County has about 430 kids currently needing care, although the number of children in the foster-care system fluctuates constantly, according to Brenden Hargett, clinical operations coordinator for the social services division of the county’s Department of Health and Human Services.

Read more: Greensboro News & Record