The oil boom has affected jobs, the cost of living, and the foster care system.
While organizations like High Sky Children’s Ranch in Midland haven’t seen a sharp rise, they are seeing an uptick in sexual abuse cases; along with domestic violence, drugs, and homelessness.
High Sky Children’s Ranch’s Executive Director JaLynn Hogan says this may be a result of the endless amount of people coming into West Texas for oil.
Along with circumstances, some children are also being sent away to other regions, where they’ll have a harder time with visitations from family members.
“So, on average, about 515 children are placed in foster care in the Permian Basin, or the region nine area, and about 48% of those leave the region,” said Hogan.
They can be sent to places like Dallas, Austin, or Brownwood.
It’s something that Hogan says can be a tough transition for a child already going through so much.
“You know, you lose your school, you lose your friends, you lose your family. Everything that’s normal and you’re accustomed to is gone,” said Hogan.
With renovations on several buildings on the way, High Sky Children’s Ranch is hoping to add more resources for children and parents.
“Our goal is expansion of services for children and families. But for the short time, we’ll have to shrink down just in the shelter services,” said Hogan.
The bottom line is that the system needs more people willing to become foster parents.
“Individuals could just step up and say ‘I could help, you know, I can help provide a home for a couple of children for a sibling group, while their parents get the help they need,” said Hogan.
If you think you’d be interested in foster care or adoption, you can go to the High Sky Children’s Ranch website.