Foster children find themselves in difficult situations when they have nowhere to go, and it can be even more difficult for children when they are around the age of 12 and older.

Rachel Duvall, the program director at Pressley Ridge, said over the past six years there were 288 ages 12 or older that were removed from the Northside because there were not enough foster families in the area.

Pressley Ridge is one of four foster care programs in the county awarded a specialized contract to certify foster families. The organization is hoping to recruit more Northside foster families so children from the area do not have to leave their neighborhoods and schools.

“We need more foster families and resources in communities so kids can stay in their neighborhoods and still be in a community that they know,” Duvall said.

Pressley Ridge is a “very involved agency” when it comes to its foster care programs, Duvall said. The organization aims to empower foster families, as they can act as “agents of change” in children’s lives that can involve healing from trauma and continuing to support a relationship with the biological families.

Even if families are not in a position to foster a child, Duvall asks that individuals and businesses help spread the word about the need for foster families in the Northside and reach out to form partnerships with Pressley Ridge.

For more information on how to become a foster family, visit the Pressley Ridge website or its Facebook page.

For more information on how to become a foster family, call Helene Welling at (412) 442-2084.