It would be an understatement to say that the American foster system is not able to provide necessary care for children. Below are some facts about the system that most Americans are unaware of:
- There is no guarantee that a child will get adopted. There are about 400,000 children in the foster system alone, and 100,000 waiting to be adopted. In this supposed “alternative” to adoption, an average of 300,000 children live a life of waiting to be adopted and many never get adopted. On average, children will spend 3 years in the system before being adopted.
- At least 38% of foster youth in California experience 5 or more placements.
- In San Diego County, there are approximately 3,112 children in foster care and 2,849 of them have one or more siblings. Of the 2,849 that have a sibling, 508 are separated from one or more of their siblings.
- Foster youth who experience more placements are nearly 15% less likely to complete high school when compared to other students.
- Many studies have shown that an average of 61% of children in the foster care system have tested positive for developmental delay –in comparison to the general population that averages 4 to 10%.
- Many of the younger kids placed in foster care become traumatized after parting with their siblings and families.
- Across the United States, 52% of foster children attend schools that rank in the lowest 30%.
- Only 50% of these children receive a high school diploma.
- Only 10% of former foster youth will attend college and, of that 10%, only 3% will graduate.
- 50% of former foster youth will be homeless during their first two years after exiting foster care.
- 60% of girls become pregnant within a few years after leaving the foster care system.
- 50% of youth leaving foster care are unemployed.
- Over 28% of children placed in foster care are abused.
The children in foster care are taught to never speak up and hide their feelings, which is why many of them endure abuse and never speak about it. The children who get abused are already vulnerable as it is, and in hopes of finally finding a home, they stay quiet about any type of abuse. In one instance, a young girl around five years was suffocated and killed by her mother. Read more here.
The average age of a foster child ranges around ten years old. At that age, a child needs stability, love and care. Moving from house to house is mentally damaging for children. Feeling unwanted or unloved at a young age can cause children to grow up aggressive or develop self-hatred. A lot of the times, foster children will live in poverty because foster parents cannot provide for them.
In many cases, foster care and the adoption agency has benefited many children and will continue to do so. But in the same system, children will end up growing with no family, no home, no sense of care or love. Many children will live a life of trauma and anger from feeling unwanted. There aren’t enough loving people in the worlds to take proper care of orphaned children.
“9 Things to Know about Kids in Foster Care. Plus an Unforgettable View into Their Lives.” Upworthy. N.p., 17 July 2015. Web. 25 Feb. 2017.