National Foster Care Youth Statistics
- There are more than 500,000 children and youth in foster care in the U.S.; approximately 20,000 youth “age out” or emancipate from foster care each year.
- 100,000 foster youth live in California.
- In California, 65% of youth leaving foster care do so without a place to live.
- Up to 50% of former foster/probation youth become homeless within the first 18 months of emancipation.
- Twenty seven percent (27%) of the homeless population spent time in foster care.
- Fifty-eight percent (58%) of all young adults accessing federally funded youth shelters in 1997 had previously been in foster care.
- Less than half of former foster youth are employed 2.5-4 years after leaving foster care, and only 38% have maintained employment for at least one year.
- Youth in foster care are 44% less likely to graduate from high school and after emancipation, 40 – 50 percent never complete high school.
- Girls in foster care are six times more likely to give birth before the age of 21 than the general population.
- Sixty percent (60%) of women who emancipate from foster care become parents within 2.5-4 years after exiting care.
- Parents with a history of foster care are almost twice as likely as parents with no such history to see their own children placed in foster care or become homeless.
This is a subject near and dear to my heart. Kids and especially foster kids. You see I am an illegitimate child born of a teenage mother and a young father just coming home from the war. Neither stuck around long enough to raise me. I was abandoned and later adopted by my parents. I am also an adoptive mother. Yes one of my sons was adopted from the foster care system that I participated in for years. My son had so many problems that it would take me pages to describe them. He is now a healthy well adjusted thirty something year old man. He is articulate and kind and moral, a successful business owner and a wonderful loving man. He is the apple of his mama's eye and I could not love him more if I had given birth to him. But he, like myself, came from one of the worst backgrounds you could imagine. He was deemed unadoptable at 3 and faced a future of living out his childhood bouncing around the faster care system. His health issues, emotional scars and learning disabilities made him undesirable to those looking to adopt. To those looking for perfection he was broken and unmendable. My god and I knew better. Was it hard work? You better believe it. Was he worth it. They all are. There are no disposable children in my eyes.
Looking for a charity for the Christmas season to donate to. This is my pick. Buy a foster child that pair of basket ball shoes that the foster parent can't afford. Or help pay for those braces that child needs to correct that speech impairment. Offer to pay for that catchers mitt or cub scout uniform. This all comes out of the foster parents pocket. Volunteer to help tutor a struggling child. Or maybe be a big brother or sister. Or take a foster child for holiday dinner. There are lots of teenagers in children's shelters with nowhere to go and no one to go to.
One of the most gratifying things I have ever volunteered for was to be an instructor years ago at a home for unwed mothers. I literally taught these young girls how to be mothers from the ground up. Many had not had mothers themselves. Many had come from the streets. I taught these girls how to feed and diaper and love and care for a child.
I also used to do public speaking on what to expect being a foster or adoptive parent from these kids.
Not just Christmas but anytime of the year kids need guidance and leadership and someone to care.
Be a girl scout leader I have.
Be a Boy Scout Leader. I have!
I have 1 Eagle Scout and 2 Life Scouts for sons. I myself hold the Wood Badge award in Boy Scouting. Yes I can camp with the best of you.
Even more so if you are a family looking to adopt, please consider looking in your own community. There are so many children out there needing homes. They may not be new born, they may not be perfect but take it from a mother of 5, they never are no matter where they come from.
Don't want a baby? Many children linger in foster care for their entire childhood and then at 18 are thrown into the world. Many emotionally scarred, unprepared to function in an adult world, with no adult support system of any kind. Many end up homeless. They are not children but they sure could use a hand.
He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter