ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Dr. John DeGarmo is the director of The Foster Care Institute.
He's on a national campaign to recruit 10- thousand new foster parents by 2020.
DeGarmo says the nation's opioid crisis is fueling the huge need for more foster homes.
"More people are becoming addicted to these opioids. Where are the children going? More people are dying from this crisis. 60,000 may have died last year. Where do all of these children go?" says DeGarmo.
He and his wife have fostered more than 50 children over the years, adopting three.
DeGarmo says our nation's foster care system is in crisis
There are more than 500,000 kids in foster care, and not nearly enough homes for them.
He says, "So, I'm traveling the nation, working with foster care agencies and child welfare agencies, and just bringing awareness to people that, you know what, this is a great mission you can do."
DeGarmo says if more people don't answer that call, there will be even more kids in the foster care system.
Often these children are looking for someone to love them, and fall victim to dangerous situations, like sex trafficking.
"These children are being lured in through online means from predators. They're being approached by strangers.
While not everyone has the means to foster a child, DeGarmo says we can all serve as advocates for these kids. He says if you see a child in need, or in danger, take action.
"The absolute first things to do is report it. Do not feel afraid. You need to report it, because if you do not report this, who will?"
We have a link to his effort to recruit foster parents to the right of this story.