Monday, May 5, 2014

Monday Montage: Discussion Board - Foster Month

May is National Foster Care Month, which just seems to fit right in with our heart strings for orphan care and adoption. We are dedicated to making an impact (however small) on orphan care - by hosting periodic discussion boards, distributing adoption grants, partnering with adoptive families for fundraising, and working with like minded organizations like the Sparrow Fund and New Day Foster Home.


I always wondered about international adoptions. I know so many people who have adopted internationally, but I don't know many people who have adopted domestically. And, here was this article about "Abandoning Children in Foster Care" stating that 23,000 children were legally emancipated from foster care in 2012.

That's 23,000 kids - now legally declared adults - who age out of the system. They have no built in support structure, nowhere to go during the holidays, no parents to call after a tough day - it just seems like a recipe for sadness. And, according to the chart below, it looks to be the case.
 
What are your thoughts? Do we extend foster care to 21 years old? How do we increase the number of domestic adoption?
 
Click on the picture below or this link to read the full article! Leave your thoughts on facebook or right here in a comment on the blog.
 
 



3 comments:

  1. Hi, I worked in social work for a long time, and through my work, met a kiddo who was 17 and was going to age out of the system. Many agencies are starting to focus on independent living skills and helping older kids to plan for life outside of the system. However, most kids are totally on their own when they turn 18 with no ties to any sort of supportive family. We decided to take this child into foster care in our home because we wanted to provide her with a family to depend on when she was released from foster care. She is almost 25 now and her life is far from perfect, but she has people in her life now who can help out and provide support when she needs it. Wouldn't it be great if there was focus on recruiting families who would commit to being there for kids transitioning to adulthood beyond the foster care system. My kiddo never wanted to be adopted, and quite frankly it was sort of late to begin the process, but it does not mean that you cannot provide a "home" for them as they age beyond the age of 18. I know that at 40, I still rely on my parents for all sorts of support. And at age 19, I needed them even more.

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  2. Cathy, that is just beautiful! I hope that there are more families like yours who are willing to mentor these young people. They may not be legally kids, but with backgrounds like theirs they may not be prepared to be functional adults. My parents still provide a ton of emotional support for me, too. I couldn't imagine facing my early adulthood without anyone to call about my bad days or share my good days. And, without them, I might have tried to fill that attention/love void in less healthy ways. Your impact on your kiddo is beyond measure! Thank you!

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  3. Also, for anyone reading this who would like to be an advocate for kids living in the foster care system, CASA is a great volunteer organization, and most communities have one. Basically, your role as a volunteer is to work with one child, or sibling group who is in the court system, and you are their voice in the court. You have visits with them at least monthly, talk to their service providers (schools, counselors etc) and make sure that they are getting what they need. My experience has been that the time commitment is no more than 10 or 15 hours a month, sometimes less than that. http://www.casaforchildren.org/site/c.mtJSJ7MPIsE/b.5301295/k.BE9A/Home.htm

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