Around 340 children are in need of fostering, a foster families association said on Wednesday.
According to the president of Love Nest foster family association, Dimos Thomas about 500 children are under the care of social welfare services after being removed from violent family environments or from families that can no longer care for them.
Of those, about 140 are unaccompanied minors from overseas. About 200 are currently in children’s homes and other hosting institutions.
“We want all children, no matter their background to grow up in families,” Thomas said.
A total of 160 to 170 children have already been placed in foster families under the supervision of the welfare service.
“There is a great need for foster families,” Thomas said. “Children growing up in group homes are missing the love and warmth of a family.”
In recent years more cases have been reported for neglect or violence in families, resulting in an increase in the number of children under the care of the state.
“It is a problem that unfortunately is growing,” Thomas said, adding that it is difficult to find foster families because locals are not aware of the process.
Any adult can apply to become a foster parent, through the association or directly through the welfare services.
Applicants are evaluated as to their financial capacity and living conditions.
Foster parents receive an allowance to cover the living costs of the children they are fostering and are able to proceed to adoption if they wish to do so.