Foster care family shortage on the rise in Kansas

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CLEARWATER, Kan. (KAKE) -

Foster care family shortage in Kansas is on the rise. But one family in Clearwater is breaking the mold and inspiring children from all over the state.

Tammie Terry entered the foster care system when she was just 5 years old, "we were in and out of foster care throughout our entire childhood. Unfortunately, my mom was also a foster child, so it's a big vicious cycle a lot of times."

Her mission is to stop that cycle of abuse. Terry and her partner have five kids of their own and four foster kids. Two of them are on the path to adoption into their family. 

KAKE News reported last month of a foster parent shortage in Kansas. There are more than 5,000 kids in the system just in this state. Nearly 1,500 are in Sedgwick County with only 700 homes.

"It breaks my heart because i know that there's still children that are being moved around because there's just not enough placements," says Terry. 

The shortage of foster families is concerning to the former child of the state. She believes the absence of help comes from a lack of information provided to the public, "there's never a lost cause for helping these children. There's always a need and i believe that even if you're just volunteering or donating a gift, it's all so helpful." 

Terry was abused in homes growing up, but she uses her past struggles as motivation. "I've changed the cycle of abuse and i have utilized what i went through as a child to help children now."

The mother of nine hopes people will hear her story and be inspired to help. "This is real life. It's real. And the rewards that you get from helping a child and changing, you're changing the world. Everybody wants love. Everybody deserves a family. Everybody deserves to be safe."

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.

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