Did you know May is National Foster Care Month? No? Don’t feel bad, plenty of Americans fall into this category. But everyone wins when we at least take the time to learn more about how foster care works.
Many children in the foster care system have been thrown away. Some were born to parents unable to care for them due to addictions or poor life choices, while others have parents who may be incarcerated. In some cases children were subjected to abuse or neglect.
These represent just a few of the reasons children are placed into foster care, but none of them requested their circumstances. They are simply playing the hand they’ve been dealt.
Over 400,000 children were part of the American foster care system in the fall of 2014. This represented a 4% increase in just two years time. Of that number nearly 40% were five years of age or younger.
What’s more, the number of children entering the system exceeds the number of children exiting the system. The two primary reasons children exit the system are due to adoption, or reunification with their natural parent(s) or primary caretaker(s). With numbers like these, it’s easy to see why foster parents are in high demand.
In a recent post to Disney’s babble.com website, Mike Berry shares his heartwarming personal account of parenting over 30 children in the foster care system. If you’ve every considered fostering or are just curious about the process, I highly recommend taking a few short minutes to read Berry’s post.
For more information on how to get started in the foster care system, visit www.adoptuskids.org. The website offers a variety of resources on the laws which govern the system, and how to get personally involved.
There are many ways to get involved in the lives of America’s youth. Foster care is just one important example. If you feel pulled to learn more about foster care, take that next step. If foster care isn’t right for your family, perhaps a program like Big Brothers, Big Sisters could be.
Take the time to find a way to invest in a child’s life. You’ll be glad you did!