Those figures were provided Thursday at the Rome Judicial Circuit Justice for Children Summit at The Forum civic center.
The lack of local foster parents means some children are placed far away, even as far as Brunswick, Price said.
Floyd County also has the highest number of foster children per capita than any other county in Georgia, according to statistics presented by Christopher Church, an analyst for the Administrative Office of the Courts of Georgia.
Of those placed in foster care in Floyd County, about 70 percent are placed in non-relative foster care; about 17 percent are placed in foster care with a relative; about 11 percent are institutionalized, according to Church.
And with so many children in foster care, “there’s a desperate need for Floyd County foster homes,” Church said.
The main reason for removal is neglect, but caretaker drug and alcohol abuse is increasing along with inadequate housing, according to Church.
Floyd County averages a rate of 73 foster children per 10,000 residents. The statewide rate is 23 per 10,000, according to figures provided by the state.
Efforts are being made to recruit more foster parents, according to Price.
“That’s a big task to ask someone to take on a child that’s difficult,” Price said. “Foster care is sometimes a thankless task but it’s a desperate need. We need to motivate the community to step up.”
The summit was sponsored by the Supreme Court of Georgia’s Committee on Justice for Children in partnership with the State Division of Family and Children Services.
The meeting was designed to draw together those involved with children who come in contact with state’s child welfare system and to formulate action plans. Those attending included staff from DFCS, Floyd County Juvenile Court, community leaders and foster parents.
Also speaking at the summit was Judge Michael Key, juvenile court judge for Troup County; Michelle Barclay, director of the Supreme Court of Georgia’s Committee on Justice for Children and Sharon Hill, DFCS division director of federal regulations and data.