What do 437,500 Kids in the US have in Common?

Girl in field with flowers

Every two minutes, a child in the United States enters foster care. In 2017, there were
437,500 children in foster care, and that number is rising every day.

May is National Foster Care Month. It’s a time when community members, parents, child welfare professionals, and YOU can engage in a national conversation about the issue of foster care in the United States. Most people probably don’t think that they have anything to bring to the table when it comes to foster care, but there is something EVERYONE can do to raise awareness about the challenges, support the children and youth in care, and serve families who are in crisis.

Need to start with the basics? Learn more about what foster care looks like in the United States here. Then, explore below to discover how you can make a difference! 

Resources for You

TEDx | The best place to learn about foster care in the US? From those with first-hand experience. Grab some headphones and listen to these TEDx talks by former foster youth, foster parents, and community members who are making a difference.  

Myths and Facts | One of the biggest hurdles that child welfare professionals face is the misinformation about foster care and foster youth. KVC Health Systems and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption  are setting the record straight in these two posts.  

Safe Families | One way to address the needs of those in foster care is to keep children from entering the system in the first place. Safe Families partners with faith communities to provide support to families in crisis so that children and youth can stay with their caregivers.  

CASA | Court Appointed Special Advocates are community members who are trained to become advocates on behalf of abused and neglected children. A child with a CASA is more likely to find a safe and permanent home, is half as likely to reenter foster care, is more likely to pass all of their classes, and will receive more needed services than a child who does not have a CASA. 

AdoptUSKids | What are the foster care needs in your state? What are the biggest needs? How can you find a local foster care agency to engage with? AdoptUSKids is a one stop shop for everything you want to know about foster care in the US.  

Congressional Foster Youth Caucus | Want to raise awareness about this issue but don’t know where to start, the Congressional Foster Youth Caucus has sample Facebook and Twitter posts as well as information for talking to others about the issue of foster care in the United States.  

What’s Next?

Curious what foster care has to do with human trafficking? Read our post, “5 Reasons Foster Youth Become Human Trafficking Victims.” 

What information do you want to know about foster care in the United States? How has your community engaged? Let us know in the comments below!