Gov. Cox calling on Utahns to open hearts, homes in response to need for foster families

May 28, 2024, 2:58 PM | Updated: Jun 2, 2024, 11:03 pm

LEHI Gov. Spencer Cox and first lady Abby Cox are calling on Utahns to open their hearts and their homes in response to a critical need for foster families.

Right now, more than 1,700 kids are being impacted by the shortage of foster care families. 

The greatest need right now is for children over the age of 9 with brothers and sisters. 

While every situation is different, in some cases, the children need a soft space to land temporarily. 

For other children, they are looking for their forever families. 

By the numbers

There are currently 1,756 children impacted by foster care. The majority of the children have siblings.

Currently in Utah, there are 822 licensed foster families, which is the fewest the state has had in more than 25 years. 

However, there is good news.

“One caring adult can make a huge difference,” said first lady Abby Cox. 

Natalie Clark, a former foster care young adult, knows firsthand. As a teen, she was in the Utah Foster Care system. 

“Some of the people who were cheering the loudest in the stands for all my graduations were the people who took me in as a teenager,” Clark said.

“What we often hear is, ‘This is the hardest thing we’ve ever done. And we’re so glad we’re doing it. It’s the best thing we’ve ever done,” he said.

There is a hard reality that lots of kids will not have a home to go to tonight.

“When there aren’t enough families to care for the children in need, children end up staying in dormitory-styled living,” said Nikki Mackay, CEO of Utah Foster Care. “Nationally, we have seen children have to stay in their case workers’ offices and in hotels, and we do not want to see that here in Utah.”

Fostering is not for everyone, but there is something we can all do to support those who are because small steps make a big impact.

“Can we bring you a pizza every Friday night for the next six months? Can we do even more?” Gov. Spencer Cox said.

Right now, there is no state in the country that does not have a waiting list for a faster family. The governor believes Utah could be the first. 

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

A voter places her ballot into a secure ballot drop box at the Salt Lake County Government Center i...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

What to watch for on a busy Utah primary election day

A long and unusually crowded 2024 primary election is almost in the books in Utah, as Republican voters will select their party's nominees in several statewide and federal races Tuesday.

2 hours ago

FILE (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)...

Daniella Rivera

KSL Investigation examines more than a decade of alleged election crime in Utah

Election fraud is rare in Utah, but it does happen – that's what the KSL Investigators found after looking at nearly 12 years of statewide court records.

11 hours ago

Parts of Utah have been given a heat advisory on Sunday. A view of the state Capitol and the Salt L...

Andrew Adams

As temperatures approach 100, urban surfaces can make the heat even more present

When temperatures approach and reach triple digits, heat captured and reflected by surfaces can make conditions in urban areas only more sweltering.

11 hours ago

A light on top of a police car...

Mark Jones

Man suffers minor injuries in paragliding crash near Parowan

Police say a 74-year-old man suffered minor injuries Monday following a paragliding accident.

12 hours ago

The body of a Idaho man was recovered Monday, June 24, 2024, in the Blackrock Canyon, south of Poca...

Mark Jones

Idaho man found dead in canyon south of Pocatello

Authories in Idaho say the body of a 49-year-old man was found Monday in the Blackrock Canyon, south of Pocatello.

13 hours ago

A California man is being held without bond at the Salt Lake County Jail for allegedly kidnapping h...

Brianna Chavez

California man arrested for allegedly kidnapping girlfriend

A California man is being held without bond at the Salt Lake County Jail for allegedly kidnapping his girlfriend over the weekend.

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Gov. Cox calling on Utahns to open hearts, homes in response to need for foster families