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Organization recognized nationally for its contributions to foster care

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MISSOULA -

Adoption and foster care is a problem that has doubled statewide since 2010 due to parental substance abuse. One organization is doing something about that and has even become the first group in Montana to be nationally recognized for its contributions in those areas.

This week, Child Bridge received the Angels of Adoption award, which is given by the Congressional Coalition of Adoption Institute.

Child Bridge recruits families for fostering and adoption.  As the number of child protection cases in Montana continues to grow, there is a shortage of available foster families able to take these children into their homes. J.D. Partain, community director for Child Bridge, says right now there are more than 3,100 kids in the foster care system, that number far exceeding the number of families available.

Since Child Bridge started 5 years ago, they've placed 200 kids in foster families and helped 38 kids find a forever home.

Partain says kids get placed in foster care for all different reasons, but one reason outweighs most others.

"I would say the primary cause for kids ending up in foster care is due to alcohol or drug addiction, things related to their parents that are causing abuse or neglect which is a huge problem as well," says Partain. 

Governor Bullock is working on a Protect Montana Kids initiative to improve systems serving children and families in the state. It will focus on immediate system improvements, system reviews, and statutory recommendations for the 2017 legislative session.

But Partain says the need is immediate and not something that can wait.

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