MINOT, N.D. - The North Dakota Department of Human Services reports that nearly 1,500 children in this state remain in foster care.
They say that the trend has continued to rise over the last few years for a number of reason and that parents are severely needed.
Over the last five years, foster care cases have been on the rise.
"The number of children who need a foster home has been going up and the number of foster parents that we have has been staying the same," said Derek Just, PATH Inc. independent living/recruitment coordinator.
Foster care provides a safe, secure environment for a youth until they can return home or until a permanent home is found.
And even though there are hundreds of families who have opened their doors to foster children, the need is still not being met.
"If we doubled the number of foster families that we have, they would be full," said Just.
For more than 15 years, PATH Incorporated has provided treatment foster care and matched families with foster children.
While staff says they are unsure of why the trend continues to rise, they do say that becoming a foster parent is rewarding for both the children and parents.
"For someone to make that commitment and know that they really have mad a lifelong difference in somebody's life I think is incredibly rewarding," said Just.
To help lower the trend, PATH held its first meet and greet. Current foster parents met with those considering fostering to discuss the impact it makes on the community.
"Children are our future, generation after generation, and if these kids don't have a chance then what future is that for any kids to come or even ourselves as we get older," said Amanda Carle, Three Year Foster Parent.
Audrianna Hohglund was in foster care as a child and says that she hopes to make a dent in the amount of children in the foster care system.
"I can relate to the kids. I feel I can help them out," said Hohglund, considering fostering.
Whether you're single or married, well off or have a small income having the compassion to foster a child can help impact the entire community.
The Basic Qualifications to Be a Licensed Foster Parent include being at least 21 years of age, financially stable, you must own or rent a home or apartment and have homeowners or renter's insurance. You must also clear a background check and provide personal references.
You can find out more by visiting the PATH Facebook page.