Amarillo’s foster children aging out into harder environment due to pandemic

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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Despite the pandemic, Amarillo Children’s Home has not stopped welcoming new children to their campus.

“The pace or the momentum doesn’t stop,” said Jo Ann Wilson, director of intake at Amarillo Children’s Home.

However, the pandemic has not made placement of those children easy.

According to the nonprofit’s Executive Director, kids reaching 18 are not transitioning into the world the same way they did before.

“Employment, you got unemployment rates that are higher, you’ve got different places to possibly live that are very expensive, trying to find roommates and things being harder because of the precautions that people are taking. So, that is kind of something that have been put in front of kids,” said Belinda Crelia-Palacio, executive director of Amarillo Children’s Home.

The organization currently has more kids than last year and while those numbers tend to fluctuate, they predict there will be more demand for their services as more restrictions are lifted.

“When kids return to school and are not in the home as much is when we do see an influx of removals from CPS,” said Wilson.

Amarillo Children’s Home is now preparing for their big fundraiser of the year.

It’s called, Roots and Wings and it will run tomorrow and Sunday.

“We were not able to have our banquet, so what we are doing is tours and is not only a tour, it’s an experience,” said Crelia-Palacio. “You get to go to one of our homes and look at what a day in the life looks like and really looking at what their story is and having the community become a part of it ‘Cause they can help change the ending of that story for that child.”

Although the organization has a state contract, 70 percent of their funds come from the community.

For more information on the event, call the office at (806) 352-5771.

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