Half of the children living in shelters in Denver are Latinos, a veteran of the city's Department of Human Services confirmed to Efe on Monday.

Five years after the launching of a series of community programs to reduce the number of Hispanic children in the care of the state, their numbers continue to be very high and authorities have been unable to recruit more Latino families to take care of those kids, official statistics show.

In Denver, a city of almost 650,000 where 32 percent of the population is of Hispanic origin, some 1,000 children are being housed each day, on average, in government-run shelters or with foster families.

In 2014, according to Fabiola Esposito, Lead Social Caseworker for the Recruitment Training and Adoption Unit, efforts to find foster families will focus on the need to offer protection to Latino kids, given that many of them are taken by authorities from their homes because they have been identified as victims of abuse, negligence or bad treatment.

Almost one-quarter of all calls to the Denver DHS to report possible cases of child abuse come from two neighborhoods where the majority of the residents are Hispanic.

"The foster families are making a difference in the lives of our kids by offering them a home free of violence until they can reunite with their families," Esposito said.

At the same time, "the number of Hispanic kids (who could benefit from living with foster families) greatly exceeds the number of Hispanic families licensed to care for them," she concluded. EFE