May is National Foster Care Month, a month of reflection and awareness about children who are removed from their homes and placed into foster care, kinship care or another form of substitute care due to reasons that were out of their control. There are more than 600,000 kids across the United States living in foster care, kinship care or another form of substitute care. More than 50,000 of those children are in Texas alone.
Could your family be an answered prayer for a frightened, vulnerable child in foster care? One family can impact the lives of so many kids in foster care by providing them the support and stability they need during a time of so many unknowns.
Take the first step in your journey this month by registering for one of the upcoming virtual foster care and adoption information meetings. You will learn about Buckner foster care and adoption program options, requirements, steps in the process and be able to ask questions directly to a Buckner foster care and adoption representative.
What are the biggest needs?
Keeping Siblings Together
There are 6,832 sibling groups in the Texas foster care system. As the sibling group gets larger, the more difficult it becomes to keep the siblings together. Forty-seven percent of sibling groups in Texas foster care have three or more kids. In most cases, keeping siblings together is not only important for the children’s developmental needs but also the children’s successful integration into the foster family.
Kinship Care or Relative Caregivers
Kinship care refers to the care of children by relatives or, in some jurisdictions, close family friends (often referred to as fictive kin). Oftentimes, kinship care helps maintain the child’s family, cultural and community ties. Buckner provides ongoing support and resources to families in the Buckner Kinship Care Program.
Care of Older Kids
Seventy-six percent of all kids in substitute care are 3 to 20 years old in the United States, according to the AFCARS FY 2018 data report. Of the kids who age out of the foster care system, they were in foster care an average of 3.5 years and were never adopted. Nearly 20,000 kids age out of foster care each year in America, according to the DFPS 2019 Data Book.
Families Willing to Provide Temporary Care
What is the goal of foster care? The goal of foster care and kinship care is reunification of the child with their biological family. The need is huge for more families willing to open their hearts and their homes to children in need for a temporary period through foster care or kinship care.
What is therapeutic foster care?
Children in the therapeutic foster care program have moderate to significant social, emotional, behavioral or unmet physical needs requiring the extra care and attention of a skilled caregiver. These children need foster parents who believe caring for the most vulnerable children in foster care is their mission.
If you are not able to foster or adopt a child at this time, here are a few ways that you and your family can help a foster family in your community.