THOMAS — When state officials call Paul and Jacque Burt about possible placement of a foster child, they ask their children if it's O.K. to bring another child into their home.
"It's a family affair; everyone is part of the decision," said Jacque, who has been a foster parent for the past nine years. She and Paul began fostering while he was on active duty in the Navy in South Carolina. They have also provided foster care in Georgia and Idaho.
"We don't count," she said of the number they've taken into their home. "We usually do little guys, four and under."
Their five children range in age from 10 to 23.
"Some we took and never left," Jacque said. "Blood does not make you a family."
Two of their three adopted children began as foster children. "I told the kids they were always meant to be mine," she added.
Idaho has a critical need for foster parents. There are 1,300 children in the state foster care system.