DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) – Webster Cantrell Hall in Decatur said it has seen a significant spike in the number of children referred to the organization needing foster care.

“Our foster care program has almost doubled in the past year,” said Holly Newbon.  Newbon told WAND News in September 2018, Webster Cantrell had 140 children in foster care.  “We currently have about 260 children in our foster care program.  So, we have seen a huge influx in the number of children coming into care.”

There are a variety of factors causing the increase, including drug use by parents.  Newbon said many of the children are neglected or have suffered severe abuse.

“Pretty severe skull injuries, fractured bones,” said Newbon.  “There’s pretty horrific things that are happening to these children.”

In addition to needing donations for the care of foster children, the physical structure of Webster Cantrell Hall still needs some significant repairs, including additional new roofing for an administrative section of the building, upgrades in the aging HVAC system and new windows.

“We have windows gapping,” stated Newbon.  “Air that’s coming in.  Frost on the windows, that kind of thing.” 

The cost of new windows is estimated to be around $30,000.

Donations can be made by mailing checks to Webster Cantrell Hall at 1942 E. Cantrell St., Decatur, Illinois; by calling 217-423-6961 and asking for Holly Newbon; or online at webstercantrell.org/wordpress and clicking on the “Donate” button.