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PLACER COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — For children in troubled homes, the added stress of the pandemic is making life even tougher.

“The majority of our kids spend a lot of their day in school and so having the schools having to close, they’re a little bit more trapped. They’re a little bit more isolated. And then any family issues they might have appear to then be escalated,” Placer County Children’s System of Care Deputy Director Twylla Abrahamson said.

Abrahamson said the county is seeing a sharp rise in children being removed from their homes, largely due to child abuse and drug use. Just in the month of March, Abrahamson said her agency saw a 25% increase in children needing placement into foster care for their own safety.

But there simply is not enough foster homes in the county to keep up with the demand.

“These are our kids, these are our kids that we educate,” Placer County Superintendent of Schools Gayle Garbolino-Mojica said.

Garbolino-Mojica knows her teachers already have a vested interest in these children’s success, so she figured, why not reach out to them to fill the gap? She sent out a letter to teachers across the district asking for volunteers to help take in kids on a temporary basis.

“Before child welfare can figure out where the child needs to go on a more longterm basis, they need emergency foster care,” Garbolino-Mojica said. “So, usually the child will come in and spend a couple of nights and during the day.”

The plea went out to teachers first, since they have already gone through the Live Scan background check necessary. But members of the community can also step up.

“The rewards are tremendous. You’re helping someone in the more difficult times of their life,” Abrahamson said. “Frankly, it’s not just for the child itself. It’s for our entire community. The stronger all of our families are, the stronger our entire community is.”

If you’re interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent, click or tap here.