MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- State officials say the number of children entering foster care in Minnesota has dropped significantly since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, yet the number of inquiries about becoming a foster parent has doubled.

A foster care specialist says the interest in fostering is especially encouraging given the hard economic times people may be suffering.

The state says there is a particular need for homes willing to care for teenagers, who make up more than one-quarter of the youth in foster care.

On average, 10,000 children are in foster care in Minnesota and 900 children are waiting for permanent homes.

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