This month, children's services organizations across the country are working to place foster children in permanent homes before the holidays.
For National Adoption Awareness Month, Clermont County is holding its own campaign, called "Teens Need Families, No Matter What."
"I think there's a misconception about older youth and people are hesitant to adopt older youth," said Julie Jordan, adoption supervisor for Clermont County Family Services. "For me, it's heart-wrenching to think they don't have a permanent place to call home."
The opioid epidemic sweeping the nation -- and hitting the Tri-State especially hard -- is exacerbating the issue, leaving more kids without parents. In Ohio, almost three-quarters of children who were taken into custody in 2015 had parents who used opioids, including heroin, according to the Public Children Protective Services Association of Ohio.
Jordan said most of the children waiting to be adopted in Clermont County are older than 12. That trend extends across the country: Of the 110,000 children and youth in foster care who are waiting to be adopted, about 12,500 are between 15 and 17 years old, according to the Children's Bureau.
"It's amazing to see the resiliency of children," Jordan said. "Sometimes it's very disheartening to find out about the different things a child has experienced. But when they get into a permanent home, to see them blossom...it's really amazing."
In Clermont County, 19 children are awaiting adoption; four are teenagers. You can read their biographies here.
To find out more about foster care or adoption through Clermont County Children’s Protective Services, please call 513.732.7765, or visit its website information on the foster-to-adopt process and a list of children currently waiting for a forever family.