May is National Foster Care Month

Posted May 1, 2018, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Cwblog mayisnationalfostercaremonth 2018

For 31 days each year, the nation’s atten­tion shifts to focus on the sto­ries of chil­dren and fam­i­lies whose lives have been affect­ed by fos­ter care.

The piv­ot is inten­tion­al — and dates back to 1988 when Pres­i­dent Ronald Rea­gan issued a procla­ma­tion estab­lish­ing May as Nation­al Fos­ter Care Month. Today, this prece­dent endures. It rec­og­nizes the needs of kids and youth in fos­ter care and cel­e­brates the many sup­port­ers who are mak­ing a pow­er­ful and pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence in their lives. 

This May, in hon­or of Nation­al Fos­ter Care Month, the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion is shar­ing select facts about fos­ter care in Amer­i­ca. The lat­est research tells us that: 

  • A child enters fos­ter care every two minutes.
  • More than 430,000 chil­dren and youth are in fos­ter care on any giv­en day.
  • Most kids in care — 61% — enter the sys­tem due to neglect.
  • The aver­age child in care is about 8 years old. 
  • Chil­dren spend, on aver­age, 20 months in care.
  • Kids in care are pre­dom­i­nant­ly white (44%) or African-Amer­i­can (23%).
  • One in every five kids in care is His­pan­ic or Lati­no (of any race). 
  • More than 117,000 chil­dren and youth are wait­ing to be adopted.
  • Near­ly half — 45% — of kids in care joined a house­hold of non-rel­a­tives for their most recent placement. 
  • More than half — 55% — of kids in care are seek­ing to reunite with their main par­ent or care­tak­er, accord­ing to their care plan goal.
  • For­mer fos­ter chil­dren are almost twice as like­ly as com­bat vet­er­ans to suf­fer from Post-Trau­mat­ic Stress Disorder.

For thou­sands of Amer­i­cans, the focus on fos­ter care does not fade with the month of May. To help sup­port three groups who nav­i­gate the sys­tem every day — kids in care, fos­ter par­ents and child wel­fare pro­fes­sion­als — the Casey Foun­da­tion has com­piled lists of rel­e­vant key resources.

See the resource lists for:

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