Understanding the Critical Need for Loving Foster Families
The national number of kids in foster care has been rising for the past 5 years. According to the most recent Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), there were 427,910 kids in foster care in 2015. 269,509 kids entered the system in 2015 and only 243,060 exited the system.
To make matters worse, estimated numbers show nearly 50% of foster parents leaving the system each year. With a rising number of kids needing families, either short term or long term, and foster parents leaving the system, who will take care of these kids?
Recently we’ve even heard stories of kids having to spend the night in offices with social workers because no families were available. Can you imagine? Young kids without a home spending the night in an office on one of the worst nights of their lives.
Many kids in foster care experience more trauma in their young lives than most of us ever will. These kids need to be loved, but they don’t always make it easy. Trauma can severely impact the development in the brain. Kids who have experienced trauma often act out because they don’t know how to communicate their feelings.
Psychology blog Hey Sigmund explains: “When a child has traumatic experiences his “backpack” is “fuller and heavier” than other kids, and his brain is working overtime to manage the load.” Kids from trauma need love, attachment and structure, someone who is willing to walk beside them and help carry their backpack when it gets to be too much. Sure it’s not easy, but the stakes are high. Kids from foster care have the odds stacked against them, but their story doesn’t have to be another statistic. Their story can change.
Popular foster and adoption blogger Jason Johnson says: “Let’s spend less time talking about what it will cost us if we do foster or adopt and more time talking about what it will cost these kids if we don’t. Kids in crisis can't afford to wait until it's most convenient for us to care for them.”
Each year about 26,000 kids age out of foster care. These kids have no support system and the numbers are grim. Of the kids who age out, 50% will be unemployed at age 24 and 20% will be homeless. 71% of young women will be pregnant by age 21. Placing kids in loving families, even for a short time now can help prevent adding to these numbers when the kids become young adults. All it takes is one person who cares. One person who chooses to relentlessly love them no matter their actions, the way our Savior loves us. *we will link to the infographic we created last year*
Please prayerfully consider becoming a foster parent and attend our next orientation. We offer biblically based training and require you to build a support team, so you won’t be in this alone. The call is big, but our God is bigger.
“I can do all things through Him who gives me strength” - Philippians 4:13.Tags: Miscellaneous