About Foster Care
What is Foster Care?
Foster Care is the state-run system created to accommodate children who are unable to safely live with their biological parents, typically due to abuse or neglect. It is designed to protect the children temporarily while their biological family stabilizes enough for the children to return home. In reality, however, this does not always happen.
What is the Foster Care Crisis?
The foster care system has notoriously been labeled “broken” for as long as it has been in existence, but today it is facing what could be the most severe crisis in its history.
With too many children lingering in the system and not enough families getting the children out, the hundreds of thousands of children in foster care endure innumerable injustices; they are routinely disregarded, misconstrued, and made helpless. These children are the most vulnerable members of our society, and there is virtually no advocating on their behalf.
The standard, grueling journey through foster care begins promptly on day one when the children are removed from their abusive homes and placed into the system completely empty-handed. After this move, only a mere trash bag is typically provided for the children to pack and carry their belongings. This degrading treatment is appalling for children blameless for their circumstances. It is not uncommon for children to be further traumatized in the foster care system due to repeated upheavals, sibling separation, unfit foster families, etc.
In addition, there is a severe shortage of safe and loving homes available to children in foster care, often forcing case workers to desperately try to accommodate the children anywhere. For example, in March of 2017, “the number of children who stayed in an office, hotel, shelter or other living arrangement for two or more nights increased to 65” according to the Department of Family and Protective Services spokesman Patrick Crimmins. The situation is even worsening, as “in the first seven months of the state fiscal year, there were 314 children who spent two or more nights a month in such impromptu housing, he said. That's more than in the entire previous fiscal year — 305, according to records kept by The Dallas Morning News” (Excerpt from article written by Robert. T. Garrett in The Dallas Morning News). These subpar emergency placements occur because CPS workers cannot find the children any other suitable places to stay.
Together, we can eliminate the inequities existent in foster care by coming forward for these children, whether its through raising awareness in your community, contributing financially, or opening your home to a child in need of love and stability!
Will you consider opening your heart to save a child?
Facts, Figures, & Statistics of Foster Care
There are approximately 415,000 children in foster care in the United States.
Over 100,000 of these children are waiting to be adopted.
On average, children remain in foster care for nearly two years, but over 28,000 children have languished in the system for over five years.
Over 56,000 children in custody of the state do not reside in a family setting, but in institutions or group homes.
Every year, over 20,000 youth "age out" of foster care at age 18 and are left completely on their own.
Services Available to Foster and Adoptive Parents
Services Available to Children in Foster Care
Several states have laws that exempt or waive payment of tuition and fees at state supported colleges or universities for any child who has been in the custody of child welfare (even if the child has been adopted).
Children in foster care receive extensive medical insurance, and even continue to have free access to it after they are adopted.
AdoptUSKids provides information and resources to families exploring foster care and adoption. AdoptUSKids also features a national photolisting of youth in foster care who are currently available for adoption!
Child Welfare Information Gateway connects professionals as well as the public to information, resources, and tools covering topics on child welfare, child abuse and neglect, adoption, and more!
Garbage Bag Suitcase: A Memoir by Shenandoah Chefalo
The Lost Boy by Dave Pelzer
To the End of June by Cris Beam
Adopted for Life by Russell D. Moore
30 Days of Hope for Adoptive Parents by Jennifer Phillips