MANATEE COUNTY – Opioid addiction brings about alarming facts regarding foster children in Manatee and Sarasota Counties.

The opioid epidemic has tripled the number of children requiring foster care in Manatee County on an average monthly basis, and there are not enough beds to care for all the children in need.

According to the State Department of Children and Families’ most recent quarterly report, Sarasota and Manatee lead the state in the rate at which children are removed from their homes once an investigation has been initiated, nearly doubling the state average.

According to the Herald-Tribune, for 17 years, no more than one or two parents would die of an overdose while their children were in the foster system. In the 2016-2017 fiscal year, 23 parents died of overdoses.

Leaders from 27 agencies involved with foster care in Manatee County have been meeting to plan a coordinated campaign to get more foster families.