National Foster Care Month
National Foster Care Month has been observed in the U.S. since the late 1980s to show appreciation to foster parents and to encourage more people to take the leap and become foster parents. Every year, a quarter of a million children are placed into the foster care system in the United States.
This number seems to increase with each passing year. In 2016, there was a 10% increase in the number of children entering the foster care system from the year 2012.
Currently, there are almost half a million children in foster care, and these children were placed into foster care because they can’t remain safely in their homes. That’s why it’s important for more people to step up and become foster parents and for all of us to recognize their achievements.
The History of National Foster Care Month
National Foster Care Month was created by then-President Ronald Reagan in 1988. Since this original proclamation, every U.S. President has made an official proclamation continuing the efforts of this movement. Currently, this month is maintained by the Children’s Bureau and its partners.
Partners include the Children’s Welfare Information Gateway, the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections, Casey Family Programs, the National Foster Youth Institute, and the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth.
Facts About Foster Care
Below are some facts about foster care that we feel everyone should know. We found the following facts to be quite informative, and we think all of our readers will find them informative as well. The points below should illustrate the need for foster parents in the U.S.
- The average age of a foster child is 8 years old.
- Every year, 1,200 youth are placed into foster care because of their own alcohol dependence problems.
- It’s been estimated that as many as 7% of American children will end up in the foster care system before they turn 18.
- Former foster care children are twice as likely to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) than military veterans.
- There are over 57,000 children in foster care in California.
- Approximately 55% of youth adopted did not know their foster parents before they were adopted.
- Approximately 9 out of 10 people who became foster parents said they would make the same decision again if given the chance.
- Only about 25% of foster youth enroll in college.
Observing National Foster Care Month
One of the best ways to observe this month is for people to consider becoming foster parents. There are hundreds of thousands of children in need of foster parents, and the need only keeps growing every year. People can also thank current foster care parents on social media using the hashtag #NationalFosterCareMonth.