Some foster parents in California are being asked to take in an alarming number of unaccompanied migrant children from the southern border, as many as 26 or more to be placed with one family in some cases, the Daily Mail reports.
Foster parents across California have reported receiving urgent phone and email messages from the Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD), the foster home and care licensing section of California's Department of Social Services, asking the household how many available beds they to serve "additional youth."
"This is an emergency message, please respond to this urgent message from the Community Care Licensing Division. CCLD would like to know how many available beds you have to serve additional youth," stated a voicemail obtained by DailyMail.com.
Two of these parents, Travis and Sharla Kall, already foster twins four-month-olds on top of caring for their 6-year-old twins.
"Usually the maximum amount of children you are allowed to foster at any one time is six. We called our case worker and she told us that everyone was calling her because they had got that same call. She said there was a big influx of children coming in, but she didn't know where from," said Travis.
A friend that also fosters told the Kalls she had received the call as well, with her foster agency saying that these children would come from the border.
"As many of you are already aware, CCLD has been sending automated emails and phone calls asking you about available beds to serve additional youth. They are trying to address the needs of a record number of unaccompanied children who are arriving from Central America who are escaping impossible situations such as poverty, violence and natural disasters," the email reads.
"Thank you for your sacrificial service to vulnerable children. We value you and we are so grateful for your willingness to engage in this important work," it continues.
Sharla called the situation detrimental to either side "because either way someone loses a bed."
"At any given point in time there are 30,000 plus children in the LA County foster care system alone. So to ask us already certified foster parents to take on children from another country when we can barely take care of our own foster crisis doesn't seem beneficial to either side because either way someone loses a bed," Sharla said.
Travis equated it to human trafficking. The couple, according to the Daily Mail runs a non-profit that fights human trafficking.
"I consider it human trafficking. It's not the burden of taking kids in because we have the heart for it, but these are kids that were taken from the border for a money scheme and now they're going to use us resource parents to take care of them," said Travis.
The California Department of Social Service told the Daily Mail that "In the case of unaccompanied minor children who cross the border, responsibility for their care falls under the US Department of Health and Human Services or the US Department of Homeland Security. Should any unaccompanied minors in this situation be placed by the federal government in licensed children's residential facilities or homes in California, our role at CDSS is to ensure licensed facilities meet California's health and safety standards."
"In response to a request from HHS for an expedited effort to determine which licensed facilities may be willing to assist, CDSS sent out a survey to licensed homes," they continue.
According to the AP, more than 15,000 migrant children are being held at the southern border, with many being held in centers meant for short-term holding. Unaccompanied children crossing into the United States is up in most sectors, according to US Border and Customs Protection statistics. Some sectors, such as El Paso and Ro Grande have doubled their number of crossings comparing February 2020 to February 2021.
The White House has said that the children who are crossing the border illegally will be fully welcomed into the US. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the children would be detained in border facilities until they could be placed into the care of sponsors. It appears those sponsor agencies are rather overwhelmed, as is the border itself.