Many myths and falsehoods abound when it comes to the foster care system. Many people still believe that foster parents simply do it for the money and that foster children are permanently damaged. Nothing could be further from the truth in our experience! We’ve seen many former foster youngsters graduate college and rise above their traumas and problems thanks to the love and support of the foster parents with whom we work.
Consider the following statistics to acquire a better understanding of the current state of foster care:
- Of all children in the U.S., 6 percent will enter the foster care system before the age 18.
- The time a foster youth typically spends in foster care is about 20 months.
- A foster child’s average age is 8 and a half years old.
- There are more than 25,600 foster youth who spent at least five years in foster care.
- Their own alcohol dependence problems have placed more than 1,200 youth in foster care nationwide.
- When they exit the system more than 50 per cent of all foster youth are reunited with their family.
- When they turn 18, one out of every five people who age out of the foster care system will have no home to go to.
- Depression will likely affect seven times more foster youth and five times more will suffer from anxiety, than non-foster youth.
- 50 percent of foster youth will have stable and steady jobs by the time they are 24. The same number will develop substance abuse.
- One-third of all males and three-fourths of all females, among former foster youth, are enrolled in government assistance programs.
- Former foster youth are two times more likely to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder than veterans.
- Fifty percent of foster youths have experienced four or more Adverse Childhood Experiences.
- Of all foster youth, 51 percent graduate high school.
- College enrolments among foster youth amount to less than one in four.
- Only 4 percent of former foster youth successfully obtained a bachelor’s degree by age 26.
- Of parents who adopted a foster youth, 95 percent said they would do it again.
- There are approximately 184,000 households in the U.S. that are caring for a foster youth.
You Can Make a Difference
We need more foster parents. Demand for placements for foster children is high, and we know there are loving families out there ready to take them in. You just need to take the first step. Kids First can help Fort Worth families every step of the way. Contact us today to start the conversation.