- What it must be like when "mom" is not a safe word?
- Graduating or getting married and not having someone to walk you down the aisle..
- Having a brown paper bag and 20 minutes to pack up your belongings, so you can move to your "new" home.
- Being 10 and having less then a 10% of a chance of ever having a family!
500,000 children are being raised in foster care in the US; this is larger then the population of most of cities.
12,000 children live in foster care in Oregon.
Fewer than 50% of foster children will return home.
More than half of children living in foster care move 3 times a year....If in foster care for over 15 years it is not uncommon to have 12 plus homes....this means:
- A new mom and/or dad
- New siblings
- new teacher and schools
- New friends, coaches, teams, neighbors
- Very few of their belongings follow them, usually what will fit in a bag
- Different religion
- Different food
- Different rules, chores, expectations
How would your kids do? Post traumatic stress for foster youth is double that of veterans and six times the rate of the general population. Imagine how they feel every time a different car pulls up in the driveway; most moves have no advance notice.
85% of kids come into foster care with siblings; 75% are separated from their siblings and the percentage increases the longer they are in care.
Minority children enter foster care at twice the rate of Caucasian children
Where do foster kids live, when in care???
- 48 percent in nonrelative foster family homes
- 26 percent in relative foster homes
- 15 percent in institutions, residential or group homes
- 5 percent on trial home visits (situations in which the State retains supervision of a child and the child returns home on a trial basis for an unspecified period of time and after 6 months are considered a discharge from foster care)
- 4 percent in preadoptive homes
- 2 percent had run away
- 1 percent in supervised independent living
Foster care was intended to be temporary, but many Oregon children remain in foster care for years.
For children waiting to be adopted in Oregon, the average length of stay in care is more than three and a half years (43.9 months). On average, children who were adopted in 2010 spent more than three years (38.7 months) in care before the adoption was finalized.
In 2010, 336 (18%) of Oregon's waiting children had been in care for five or more years.
In 2010, 1,827 foster children in Oregon were waiting to be adopted
Older children in Oregon are not as likely to be adopted as younger children.
The average age of Oregon’s adopted children is about 5.8 years, while waiting children are, on average, roughly 7.3 years old. Research shows that for youth over the age of 9, the likelihood of being adopted drops significantly.
“Age-Out,” is a term used that refers to children who become of legal age and are no longer required to stay in foster care. They are adults, if you will. Since 1999 230,000 children have aged out of foster care nationwide. While the number of kids coming into care has decreased over time, the number aging out has increased from 1999-19,000, to 2010-30,000.
In 2010, 201 youth in Oregon aged out of foster care without a permanent, legal family. Research shows that many of these youth will face significant obstacles in the future, including homelessness, unemployment, depression and substance abuse.
In 2010, 1,747 (42%) of children in foster care age 9 and older in Oregon had case goals of long term foster care or emancipation. These youth are at high risk of aging out of foster care without a legal connection to a permanent family.
What these children/adults "are not" is... properly prepared for their self care.After aging out of foster care
- 27% of males and 10% of females were incarcerated within 12-18 months.
- 50% were unemployed
- 37% had not finished high school
- 3% go to college
- 67% of former foster youth are on food stamps compared to 5% of the regular population
- 19% of females had given birth to children.
- Before leaving care, 47% were receiving some kind of counseling or medication for mental health problems; that number dropped to 21% after leaving care.
For the 20,000 youth nationwide who are emancipated - or "age out" of the foster-care system every year, nothing is more terrifying than the number 18. It is on this birthday that these youth, many abused and neglected before and after entering the system, are expected to instantly become responsible adults. While many non-foster-children are eager to leave home at this point, their parents often serve as a safety net in times of financial or emotional need. Most emancipated foster children do not have this luxury. They are moved from home to home, forming few, if any, long-lasting ties to any of the adults they are forced to live with. Then, at eighteen, they are instantly cut off from a system that never prepared them to live on their own.
CALL TO ACTION
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO...
- BE AN ADOPTIVE PARENT ?
- BE A FOSTER PARENT ?
- BE A MENTOR ?
- VOLUNTEER TO HELP ?
- MAKE A DONATION ?
- SPONSOR A CHILD ?