WE HAVE A NATIONAL FOSTER CARE CRISIS
There are more than 400,000 children in foster care in the US, and that number is rising.
Cincinnati (Hamilton County) alone has more than 850 foster children on any given day. More than 150 youth will emancipate this year becoming adults with little support, structure or knowledge to make it on their own.
While the ultimate goal is to reunite foster children with their biological families, the harsh reality is that substance abuse, mental illness and a myriad of other social dysfunctions make it impossible in many cases.
Every Kid is One Caring Adult Away from Being a Success Story
Check out this great video by former foster kid Josh Shipp:
The most critical success factor for a child is a significant relationship with a emotionally healthy, caring adult.
Statistically, their future will likely be troubled. According to a 2004 Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care report:
25 percent are incarcerated within first two years
20 percent become homeless
58 percent complete high school, compared to 87 percent of the general population
3 percent earn college degrees, compared to 28 percent of the general population
While it varies by state, former foster youth comprise:
70-80% of the prison population.
50% of the homeless population.
Other studies show that foster youth also have disproportionately high rates of early pregnancy, sexual and physical victimization, mental illness and substance abuse.