20 Foster Care Statistics From a Former Foster Child
A Note From a Previous Foster Child
I was a foster child. I aged out after floating through more than 30 homes. I never got adopted. I saw the system in some pretty bad ways. As an adult I want to make sure everyone knows that here in the USA foster children are not okay. There is a misconception that, since we live in this country, surely the government takes care of their youth. This is not entirely true. We as people need to take a stand to protect them. We are their only hope.
If you are thinking of becoming a foster parent do your homework and don't just do it so you can say you did it. It is hard work. We likely will not be well behaved. We are a work in progress...FOREVER!
We will test you. We will push your buttons. Foster children are just that: CHILDREN. They are not perfect, and they will almost always have more behavior issues than a child who grows up in a stable environment. With the right foster parent though, a foster child can heal. They can be complete. They can thrive and sometimes even excel past what was ever thought they could.
Foster parenting is NOT for everyone. It takes time, love, dedication, space in your home, a good income (because the little money you are given is NEVER enough), and endless patience! If you have those things to give, please look into becoming a foster parent.
Here are some things to make you think.
Do you believe foster parents receive enough training?
Foster Care Statistics as of 2010 in the USA
- In 2010 there were 408,425 children in the foster care system.
- 48% were living in non related foster homes (with strangers)
- Only 26% were being cared for by a relative foster home
- Foster care sets permanency goals for all foster children who enter the system.
- The system set a goal for 6% to remain in long term foster care (What the hell kind of goal is this? Can we say "Cop out"?)
- 51% had a goal of being reunited with their family
- 7% of foster children stay in the system 5 years or more
- The average age of a foster child is 9 years old.
- 10% of foster children either fit into the "other" race or are multicultural
- 21% are Hispanic
- 29% are black
- 41% are white
- 52% are boys
- 48% are girls
- Only 6% of aged out foster children graduate from college
- 40% of aged out foster children end up homeless
- 25% of aged out foster children do not even have a high school diploma or GED
- 30% less foster children compared to non foster children held jobs by age 24
- The average yearly income of a working aged out foster child between ages 18 and 24 is $8000 a year
- 60% of male aged out foster children are convicted of a crime before age 24.
Did you know you could donate to local group homes?
What Are You Doing for Foster children?
You don't have to be a foster parent to help foster children. You also don't have to be rich. Did you know nearly 10 percent of foster children are in group homes? Those group homes take donations all the time. Most have websites with detailed lists of things they need. Anything from toilet paper to ketchup. At Christmas they need gifts. Most foster children carry their belongings in trash bags. So the next time you think there is nothing you can do, think again. Donate to your local group homes. Give them your old suitcases when you buy a new set. Buy a couple extra items at the grocery store every couple weeks and donate when you have a bag full. Everyone can make a difference in the lives of these children. Do your part!
United States foster children are NOT okay. While there are some good loving foster parents, many are not! Our government does not take care of them. The system is under staffed, under paid and over crowded! Caseworkers can not keep up with their case loads. We have to step in to do good for them. We have to all do our part to America's left behind children.
If you can not locate a group home in your area to donate to, please leave me a comment at the bottom with the closest major city to you and I will let you know what group homes are in your area.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
At which age do most foster children “age out”?
Anywhere between the ages of 18 and 21, usually. Foster children currently going through a program like independent living often can stay all the way till their 21st birthday. Parole or probation is another thing that may change the age out time. If a youth foster child goes to jail, part of their release requirements is often that they stay in care until they complete the probation or parole. 18 is the most common number, but there are plenty of exceptions.
© 2012 Peeples