7 things everyone should know about foster care
A common phrase we all know within the foster care and adoption community is ‘It takes a village.’ And while anyone involved in these systems know this is true, we want to push the boundaries of this narrative. So, we are calling upon our communities for National Foster Care month to not only be the village, but to also be accountable. As our new mini-documentary shows, even with the most supportive resources in place to serve our youth, we can always do more. Our young people who have experienced abuse and neglect deserve more. Below are seven things we believe everyone should know about foster care:
- Youth involved in the foster care system are not “troubled” kids; they are kids exhibiting symptoms of a troubling situation.
- Ohio has a program created specifically for older youth impacted by foster care called Bridges. Bridges is a voluntary program available to young adults who left foster care in Ohio at ages 18 – 20 and who are in school, working, participating in an employment program, or have a medical condition that prevents them from going to school or working. The program provides guidance and support as they transition to adulthood.
- There are endless options to support children and families impacted by the foster care program. Some ways to support our community are:
– Helping to advocate for a statewide ombudsman office for foster youth
– Ensure that resources and services recommended for youth are affirming of their SOGIE
– Uplift a child’s voice in court by becoming a CASA Volunteer. CASA Volunteers in Ohio spend an average of 5-10 hours a month serving the youth on their case
- Some children do not want to remain with their biological family and have to beg to be removed*.
- Foster care should never be a long-term solution. In Ohio, approxiately 500 youth (3% of total youth in care) are in a PPLA (Planned Permanent Living Arrangement), which is long-term foster care where there is no longer a placement goal in place.
- The average age of self suffienciency is 26 years. However, in Ohio, young people only have access to foster care services until they’re 21.
- Some of our nation’s most accomplished people had involvement in the foster care system — Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Malcolm X… the other thing they had in common? Having an adult in their life that believed in them and supported their well-being.
Are you ready to help children in foster care? Share this with a friend or family member — awareness and education are the first steps in building a village.
*shared by OHIO YAB