Adoption, Children in Foster Care, Family Support, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference Mondays, Ways to ServeApr. 9, 2018

Make a Difference Monday | 5 Areas of Need in Foster Care and Adoption

Have you considered what need in foster care or adoption you can meet? Or are you like I was a few years ago? I really had no idea of what foster care really was. And my thoughts about adoption completely focused on me and my wish to have a child of my own. I naively thought that if I weren’t interested in fostering or adopting then it was of no concern to me. I had a shallow understanding of the needs of foster care and adoption.

If you don’t intend on meeting a need of foster care and adoption, you really should stop reading now. Seriously, because if you read more you will find a need you can and should meet.

Looks like you are still here. I am glad!

Here are the 5 Areas of Need in Foster Care and Adoption*:

Foster Care. Do you know much about foster care? First thing to do is find out how many children are in the foster care system in your county. In the Greater Austin area on any given day, over 1000 kids are the in the foster care system. Here are some more facts about foster care:

  1. Foster homes are most needed for children six and over.
  2. Foster children can move homes an average of seven times mainly because the foster family isn’t prepared to care for them.
  3. Moving from home to home and inconsistent care can cause more harm than the original reason for removal.

Adoption. Did you know these things about adoption though foster care?

  1. Minority children over the age of two have a greater of risk of never getting adopted and aging out of the system.
  2. Hundreds of children are available for adoption right now in the foster care system. Many are sibling groups.
  3. Adoption from the foster care system costs little or nothing.
  4. Trauma informed care can help an adoptive parent help their child heal, no matter what the trauma is.

Biological Family Support. We need to take a wholistic view on meeting the needs of foster care and adoption. This includes supporting biological families. 70% of kids in foster care return to their biological family. Helping biological families heal and obtain parenting skills can stop the cycle of abuse and neglect.

Supporting Roles. Not everyone is called or compelled to foster or adopt. However, a greater need exists for people to fulfill other roles that meet the need of children and families.

  1. Foster and adoptive families often isolate especially when crisis arise in the home.
  2. Opportunities to support include local and national organizations like Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). You can also help families in your own community, church, small group, etc. with things like meals and yard work, babysitting and respite care, financial support for camps and other activities, prayer and mentorship.

Aged Out Teens. In Texas, a child in foster care can choose to remain in the custody of the state until age 21 or they can leave at age 18. Either way, these kids are now on their own without ever being a part of a forever family. Statistics for their success in life are not favorable with many ending up homeless or in prison continuing the cycle of abuse and neglect. You can help put an end to this cycle of failure by establishing a long term relationship with a child in foster care or one who recently aged out of the system.

* Borrowed from Fostering Hope Austin

You have more information about five areas of need in foster care and adoption. The question is, what role do you play?

To help you explore further some of the needs mentioned here are some links for you:

Fostering Hope Austin
CASA
Heart Gallery
Safe Families
Partnerships for Children

Why should you care?
Finding where you can meet a need in foster care and adoption impacts more than a child, if that is not reason enough. But every time someone meets a need in one or more of these areas, destinies change, generations alter, and communities strengthen.

Surely you can find a need to meet that will change the destiny of a generation.

Kenneth A. Camp

I am a longtime Austinite. Married my beautiful wife over 25 years ago. Adopted our son September 2012. Currently a writer and loving it. Previous jobs and careers include project management, missionary, and pastor. I enjoy sports (both watching and playing), traveling, reading, digging in dirt and hanging with my friends and family. Read more from Kenneth at KennethACamp.com.

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