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Ga. Rep. Raises Awareness Of Foster Care With Her Own Story

Single foster mom Sarah Hunsberger reads to her two foster children as the family's two cats listen in. May is National Foster Care Month to raise awareness of foster children and parents.
Single foster mom Sarah Hunsberger reads to her two foster children as the family's two cats listen in. May is National Foster Care Month to raise awareness of foster children and parents.
Credit Sarah Hunsberger

Austell Rep. Erica Thomas discussed Georgia's foster care system and her first-hand experience as a teenager in Tennessee's foster care system on ''A Closer Look.”

Thousands of children pass through Georgia’s foster care system every year.

Some 9,700 young people are currently in the system in Georgia, according to the Division of Family and Children Services.

Since May is National Foster Care Month, Georgia Rep. Erica Thomas of Austell and others are working to increase awareness about foster care and the children who are raised in the system.

Thomas has a personal stake in making the system work to the advantage of the children in need and the families who care for them.

She was in foster care herself as a child in Tennessee and experienced some of the problems first hand.

“Starting off in my first home I was about 14 years old and within about a year of that, turning 14 to 15, I went through about six different homes,” Thomas said during an interview on “A Closer Look.”

“I definitely saw what a lot of the foster care children see every single day moving from home to home to home.”

“The children in the system come from a wide variety of backgrounds and situations. They are children of all ages and races,” DFCS said on its website.

Thomas can confirm that. “I went into the foster care system because my mother joined a religion that kind of really brainwashed her and it kind of took her away from the family life,” Thomas explained. “They took me out of her care for neglect.”

DFCS says those most in need of homes are children with special physical and emotional needs and those with behavioral disabilities.

Thomas discussed the foster care system, her personal experience in the system with abuse and neglect, how difficult it is for case workers and more on “A Closer Look.”

WABE’s Rose Scott and Denis O’Hayer contributed to this story.