WHY OUR WORK MATTERS
Improving Foster Care Outcomes
Children enter the foster care system in metro Detroit because they have suffered neglect, and sometimes even abuse. In some instances, working with the birth family to resolve the issues of poverty and failure to thrive will help a child stay with their own family. When that fails or is not possible the child must be removed. As a result, many enter the system with just the clothing they're wearing and what few other possessions they have tossed in a garbage bag.
At the same time, many care-giving foster families are formed on a moment's notice when a grandparent, other relative, or friend of the family gets the call to please take in a child, or siblings, who cannot stay with their birth parents any longer. Suddenly, these families have more mouths to feed – and they're also required to buy everything from beds and dressers to clothing and school supplies with limited help from the foster care system.
“Our” children in foster care have already suffered at the hands of adults who are supposed to care for them and keep them safe. Then they are thrust into a system that struggles to provide them with enough to survive, even though they both need and deserve so much more.
In the United States as a whole, these are the results of doing so little for our foster children:
- One in five foster children become homeless after age 18
- Only ½ of former foster children are employed at age 24
- Fewer than three percent will earn a college degree
- Seventy-one percent of young women raised by the foster care system will be pregnant by age 21.
- One in four former foster children will experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
The problems with our foster care system are large and complex. No one person will solve them. But right now, this moment, you can do one thing that will make a huge difference in the life of a single Detroit-area foster child or family:
STAY IN TOUCH
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