The highlighted categories in the table above are racial demographics overrepresented in the foster kid population. This signals that there needs to be a change in how foster care is managed.
Fortunately, the Social Work community and all US States (that we have spoken to) generally agree on solution steps like reducing child poverty, emphasizing kinship care, relating to culture, and diligent foster parent recruiting can help meet the challenge.
As we celebrate 2023 May National Foster Care month, here is the latest publicly available data. In 2021, an estimated 391,098 children were in foster care in the United States. This number has been steadily declining in recent years, but there is still a significant number of children living without a permanent home. See AFCARS report #29 from November 2022 and the summary screenshot below.
Broadly there are two categories of foster kids. Traditional Foster Care involves caring for children who are “normal” kids not dis-similar to kids from a regular biological household in terms of behavioral issues. Therapeutic (or Treatment) foster kids are kids that need a higher level of care and attention to help resolve the trauma that they have suffered. Naturally, the therapeutic foster parent has a more difficult task. These parents are additionally trained and given additional support by the coordinating social worker representing the state, often through a contracted agency. Here are six things to know about Therapeutic Foster Care.
May is National Foster Care Month. And it’s a great idea for Foster Parents to plan a party with Birth (Biological) Parents of the foster child. This can work wonders for foster kids where reunification is a possibility. Reunification is a core goal of the 2022 National Foster Care Month.
Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May coincides with the National Foster Care Month. This year it is on Sunday May 8, 2022. So it’s timely to think of ways how everyone can celebrate Mother’s Day in the Foster Care ecosystem by saying “I love you.” But first some background.
The foster parent recruitment process involves compulsory foster parent training. It is after training that a foster parent becomes a licensed foster parent in a US state. This is an important professional credential for us at StartFosterCare.org. As social work/foster care professionals always explain at StartFosterCare meetings, there are different levels of needs of foster kids. These levels of need included, levels of therapeutic or treatment care. Different levels of Foster Parenting can require different kinds of training.
According to academic research and our experience here is why Foster Parent training is so important:
We are so proud that Dr. John has put out a recommendation for us to Foster Care professionals in both US State Governments and Foster Agencies across US States. We specialize in the front end of recruiting quality prospective foster parents through technology. And its important for foster care professionals and foster parents to know that we understand their challenging but rewarding work. Thank you Dr. John for putting out a good word!
We were fascinated with the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System (AFCARS) data that provides a great overview of the nationwide foster care challenge. Here is the table from the AFCARS data for 2019 reported in 2020 . This is for children entering foster care in 2019.
Since this table is useful to both prospective foster parents and foster care professionals given the kinds of questions we heard at our May National Foster Care meetings here is a brief discussion:
We started with some agencies to support their recruiting efforts digitally. Face-to-Face methods continued like open houses at the organization, a table at Community events. Advertising spending continued on offline methods but it was clear that digital marketing was effective both by cost and results. And then there was the COVID pandemic since March 2020Continue reading “Why StartFosterCare.Org? Our Story..”