Hundreds of flags represent number of children in foster care in Cabell County

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Hundreds of flags have been placed at Ritter Park in Huntington, each one with a special meaning behind it.

453 flags have been placed at Ritter Park in Huntington to represent the number of children currently in foster care in Cabell County.

The 453 flags represent the number of children who are in foster care in Cabell County.

"When you look at these flags, it's staggering," said Kylee Hassan with Mission West Virginia. "It does stand for one for each child, but that number is constantly changing, day to day and hour to hour."

Hassan says across West Virginia, there are around 7,000 children in the foster care system.

"We only have about 3,000 families," Hassan said. "So if you do the math, those numbers don't add up. So we are really in a crisis."

Hassan says she hopes the flags will serve as a conversation piece and will show people how great the need is for foster families.

"Let the flags serve as a reminder," Hassan said. "Each one serves as a child in our community that needs a family, needs a safe place to land, even if it's for two days, two years or even forever."

Hassan says many times, children are in the foster care system at no fault of their own.

"A lot of people think they are in there for their own juvenile delinquency," Hassan said. "In reality, that's not always the case. They are in there because of trauma, neglect or abuse."

The Greater Huntington Parks and Recreation District helped to put the flags up. The organization also partnered with Mission West Virginia, United Bank and New Huntington Church to host Instant Family Movie Night Friday, where they are showing a movie about foster families.

May is National Foster Care Month.