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Foster Care Awareness Month: Foster parents needed in North Alabama

In Alabama, there are about 5,600 children in the foster care system and only about 1,700 foster families.

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — May is National Foster Care Awareness Month, and local groups are taking time to spread awareness.

SAFY of Alabama, a foster care organization in Huntsville, says there is a dire need for foster parents in the Tennessee Valley.

In Alabama, there are about 5,600 children in the foster care system and only about 1,700 foster families.

RELATED: Huntsville SAFY works to help kids and teens in foster care who may require extra attention

SAFY works to get kids and teens with a mental health diagnosis into safe homes. Their goal is to help children have a more normal life again.

SAFY Foster Parent Recruiter Whitney Davis said, "A lot of them are traumatized. A lot of them act out because of what they’ve gone through, so they have this mental health diagnosis because of the trauma. A lot of them are on medication because of what happened to them."

There's a big need for families to step up and take in older teens and teenage girls with babies.

SAFY says the role foster parents take on is important, because one in three teens in foster care become homeless once they age out of the system. Foster families are needed to teach kids and teens life skills they need to be successful adults.

Davis said, "We ask that the foster families help them to obtain a license or an ID, teach them how to save their money, get a job so that they are prepared for adulthood."

RELATED: Mental Health Monday: Talking to your kids about mental health

To foster, you must have an empty room in your home, go through training, and work closely with SAFY.

For more information about becoming a foster parent, you can contact them on their website safy.org or call 256-489-0170.

You can keep up with SAFY on their Facebook page.

WATCH: Huntsville foster parent recruiter talks about the dire need for foster parents