foster care

Five Helena-area families pose with their newly adopted children, and Gov. Steve Bullock.
Steve Jess


A chorus of third graders sang “Happy Adoption Day” for the crowd that gathered at the state capitol Monday afternoon.

Five couples from the Helena area finalized the adoptions of a total of seven children in front of judge Mike Menahan. Among them, Bill and Nicky Rook adopted six year old Ashley, their niece who’s lived with them for three years.

New data says Montana does a good job at placing placing kids in its child welfare system with relatives or foster families, which is seen as preferable to placements in group homes.

Kids with chaotic family situations, with behavior and mental health issues, as young as you can imagine, end up needing emergency housing. The need for foster families trained to help these kids is ever present.

Youth Dynamics is a non-profit organization operating across Montana. Katie Gerten works out of the Kalispell office licensing people to be foster parents. She said in the past six months she’s has about 20 children referred to her office to be placed in foster care that she had to turn down. She said it’s hard to find people up for becoming foster parents.