SYLVESTER, GA (WALB) - For children who have been abused or neglected by their families, the state takes on the responsibility. Providing substitute homes for thousands of children through foster parents.
It's a prospect that not may think of day to day, what happens to children in Georgia who's families can't provide a safe and nurturing environment. Many end up in foster care.
Mrs. Mapil Davis has been the mother to more than 70 foster children in the state of Georgia.
"My mother is so important because she's been a foster mom for 35 years, that includes raising her own children everybody just love her, I call here the little old lady in the shoe, that's what she is," Shelly Laster, Mapil's Daughter.
There are more than 14,000 children in state custody, and only about four thousand foster homes.
Pam Longshore has been in childcare for a number of years, and says like biological parents, those who foster children play a critical role.
"Foster parents are important are important because they still provide the foundation that children need. As they grow the need a good environment, and if the real parents aren't able to care for them, or the grandparents aren't able to care for them, we need good quality foster parents to give them that guidance," said Pam Longshore, Albany.
"My real family, they never showed me the love that she did, you know I'm just thankful I can't be any happier," said Joey Davis, Mapil's Foster Son.
Joey will be one of the last to be fostered by Mrs. Davis, part of a long list of men and women she has influenced.
"She's been a joy and a pleasure in my life and I thank God for her," said Michael Battles, Mapil's Son.
It's 24-hour substitute care for children who need love, and as Mrs. Davis leaves, she hopes the children in Georgia aren't forgotten.
"I'm going to give it up, but I've got my boys with me. See I'm not taking anymore children, I'm going to close my home, but look I've got all this love," said Mapil Davis.
Foster parents account for more than 80 percent of DFCS adoptions.
Mapil Davis says when the six boys currently in her care leave, she plans to travel.