May is very special to me. My birthday is in May, so it’s always been an important month. My oldest child, who became my child through foster care and then adoption, was also born in May. And now May is even more important to me because May is National Foster Care Awareness Month in America.
Last year, I created twenty videos during Foster Care Awareness Month intended to inform, inspire, and equip those interested in foster care. If you haven’t seen them, you can see the videos, starting here.
This year, I plan to post daily to this blog and our Facebook page. I might also make some new videos, but I currently have four children in my care, so the jury’s out on whether that will happen or not 🙂 My hope is to help those who are considering becoming involved feel a bit more informed and equipped for the challenges they’ll likely face, as well as to inspire folks to consider ways to be involved in foster care beyond becoming licensed foster parents and taking on long-term placements.
To kick off my posts, I thought I would share some stats—not to overwhelm or lay guilt trips, but rather to expose the great need. Thank you for reading and following along!
- On any given day, there are approximately 415,000 children in foster care in the United States.
- In 2014, over 650,000 children spent time in U.S. foster care.
- On average, children remain in state care for nearly two years and seven percent of children in foster care have languished there for five or more years.
- Despite the common perception that the majority of children in foster care are very young, the average age of kids in care is nearly 9.
- In 2014, more than half of children entering U.S. foster care were young people of color.
- While most children in foster care live in family settings, a substantial minority — 14 percent — live in institutions or group homes.
- In 2014, more than 60,000 children – whose mothers’ and fathers’ parental rights had been legally terminated – were waiting to be adopted.
- In 2014, more than 22,000 young people aged out of foster care without permanent families. Research has shown that those who leave care without being linked to forever families have a higher likelihood than youth in the general population to experience homelessness, unemployment and incarceration as adults.
- While states should work rapidly to find safe permanent homes for kids, on any given day children available for adoption have spent an average of nearly two years waiting to be adopted since their parental rights were terminated.
Thanks for caring about foster care!