Seeking Placement: Foster Children Need a Forever Home.
Infant female born addicted to cocaine is being discharged from the hospital today. The mother is not able to visit and there are 2 other siblings that will need placement. Infant female needs placement immediately.
Four year-old male is in need of placement. He has been placed in six foster home placements through our agency. Foster parents are asking him to be removed due to visitation, school and work schedule conflicts. This little guy was removed from his mother due to medical neglect. He has missed 24 consecutive medical appointments. He needs placement immediately.
Seeking placement for a 16 year- old male. He has been in juvenile detention for two years and is ready for a family setting. He does have a history of destructive behaviors. However he is prescribed Intuitive, Zoloft, and Prazosin to stabilize him. He came into care because he witnessed his father killing his mother and no one in his family was able to take custodial responsibility of him once removed. Seeking placement immediately, as he has been court ordered to move into a foster home setting.
What you just read are the daily email notifications of agencies across the U.S. seeking placement for children entering foster care. At any given time there are more than 13,000 children in care per state; which means over 650,000 children are in need of a “forever family.” On average a child will remain in foster care 24 months. That’s not considering the large number of children that are more difficult to place because they have medical and behavioral needs. More than 70% of children in care have siblings in care as well. The likelihood of siblings being placed together is less likely as homes are not suited for multiple children accommodations.
When foster children are separated, shelters and residential facilities are made options. This is to be the last resort for placement however foster care case managers are suffering from “burnout” and want to quickly find placement. So whatever process is the easiest is the path that gets taken. Placing a 5 year old in a shelter is easier than finding a family setting for them. Some case managers are encouraged to place young children in shelters and residential facilities.
Foster youth are 10 times more likely to become homeless than school age children. They have the highest percentage of pregnancy at a rate of 70% among women under the age of 24. So these statistics affect the chances of these children graduating from college, or even having an interest to attend. Only 6% will even see a college degree. These same youth, age out of the system with no support, financial stability or even medical insurance.
What’s the bright side to this? There are other paths that lead to positive outcomes for foster youth. Foster care youth are able to go to college for free in states such as Michigan through programs like the Cedar Program of Western Michigan University. There are foster homes available, but more need to become available. If the youth is surrounded by a stable support system, the foster youth can navigate the system and transition into independent living. Financial, employment and educational workshops on how to make the transition into adulthood are also available. The gap needs to be bridged between community involvement and foster care awareness. Children, all children are the pulse of the community. This is something that needs to be nurtured continuously.
Staff Writer; Amber Ogden
One may also view more of her work over at; AmberOgden.com.