In honor of National Adoption Month, I want to talk to you throughout the month on different aspects of adoption. Today, let’s talk about foster care.
Foster care is a protective service to children and their families when families can no longer care for their children. There are many reasons and circumstances that make it difficult for families to meet the needs of their children, including poverty, substance abuse, mental illness, homelessness, loss of a job or lack of support from extended family and community, alleged neglect, or abuse.
In foster care, the children are placed with foster parents who can meet their need for a home environment. The children are in the legal care of the State but, like every child, they need a family to care for them.
Children range in age from infants to teenagers and typically remain in foster care for at least a few months. They come from many different ethnic backgrounds. The greatest need is for foster homes for sibling groups and children from minority groups.
Frankly, the statistics surrounding foster kids are not promising. You can read about the varying struggles foster kids face including post-traumatic stress, high rates of homelessness, poor academic prospects, attachment disorders, and more. Which is why I wanted to talk to you about this particular need. So many kids—kids who have been through too much in their young lives—need homes like yours. Not perfect homes. Not even close. Just a home filled with open doors, open arms, open hearts.
Jeremy’s family home caught fire and his father died as a result of his burns. Jeremy’s mother’s mental illness prevented her from being able to care for Jeremy. Foster care helped Jeremy graduate from high school.
In foster care, brothers Austin and Trever were forced to live apart. But because of Amy and Matt’s willingness to adopt older children from the foster care system, Austin and Trever were reunited under one roof to live together as a forever family. Could you consider adopting an older child from the foster care system?
For the more than 100,000 children ready for adoptive families in the nation’s foster care system, you represent hope. You are their chance at overcoming trauma. You are their chance at forming a healthy attachment. You are their chance to just get to be a kid, no longer having to worry about fending for themselves. You are their chance at attention, care, love, stability, family. You are their chance.
If you would like more information about foster care, please visit Bethany.org/fostercare, call 1.800.BETHANY, or help us spread the word on Facebook. Every day during the month of November we are sharing a waiting child—help us help them find a forever family!