May is National Foster Care Month
Kids in foster care need a safe place to heal
National Foster Care Month is a time of reflection and awareness about children who are removed from their homes and placed into foster care, kinship care or another form of substitute care due to reasons that were out of their control.
There are almost 400,000 children in foster care in the United States. Nearly 30,000 of those kids are in Texas.
Children enter foster care for a variety of reasons. About 63% of kids in care were removed from their homes due to neglect and 34% were removed due to parental drug use. No matter why they entered care, foster children all have one thing in common...it's not their fault.
Children in foster care deserve a safe place to heal and grow while their biological families takes steps toward reunification. All kids deserve a stable home where they can just be kids. It doesn't take an expert, only a loving adult willing to learn and walk alongside a child on their foster care journey.
Biggest Needs in Foster Care
- Sibling Groups - There are more than 6,000 sibling groups in foster care in Texas. Unfortunately, only ~66% are placed together due to lack of foster homes with sibling group availability.
- Therapeutic Care - Children in the therapeutic foster care program have moderate to significant social, emotional, behavioral or unmet physical needs requiring the extra care and attention of a loving caregiver. These children need foster parents who believe caring for the most vulnerable children in foster care is their mission.
- Care of Older Youth - About 76% of all kids in foster care in the U.S. are 3 to 20 years old. There is a large need for families to foster older youth and teenagers.
More than 1,000 youth age out of Texas foster care each year. This leaves them vulnerable to homelessness, human trafficking and abuse. Many former foster youth don't have a strong support system, making it difficult for them to get jobs, buy cars, secure housing or achieve higher education goals.
To help former foster youth with their transition into adulthood, Buckner offers programs like NextStep and FYi. May 31 is National Aging Out of Foster Care Awareness Day, a day created to serve those who have aged out of foster care, or will do so soon.
How to Help
Sources: Texas DFPS, CAFO and Texas.Gov.