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The Current State of Foster Parenting

THE CURRENT STATE OF FOSTER CARE in the U.S. PROBLEM #1 Favorability Towards Foster Care Adoption Currently, there are more than 0 0 100,000 children waiting in foster care. O = 1,000 CHILDREN While the majority of Americans have a favorable opinion of foster care adoption (84%), the intensity of favorability has decreased since 2007. OPINION OF U.S. FOSTER CARE ADOPTION 2007 33% Extremely favorable 2013 21% 2007 29% Very favorable 2013 24% 2007 26% Favorable 2013 39% 2007 9% Somewhat favorable 2013 14% 2007 3% Not at all favorable 2% 2013 Share real-life success stories of foster care SOLUTION adoption through marketing campaigns and encouraging adopting families to openly discuss their experience with friends, family and neighbors. Research indicates that these types of messages are the most influential when it comes to whether or not someone has Social workers can play a major a favorable opinion of foster care adoption. role in bridging this gap since they see first-hand how children thrive in adoptive homes. Sharing these stories is an excellent way to generate favorable foster care perceptions. PROBLEM #2 Adoptability Misconceptions Many Americans worry that children in foster care may have About half believe that children in foster care behavior or self-control issues. are juvenile delinquents. However, kids in foster care enter the system through no fault of their own, but because they have been removed from their families due to abusive or neglectful situations. Fortunately, perceptions about children in foster care are improving. SOLUTION SOCIAL WORKER EFFORTS HAVE HELPED TO IMPROVE THESE PERCEPTIONS: The Center for Adoption Support and Education (CASE) provides a wide variety of materials for families, children and the public, C.A.S.E. such as “Beneath the Mask: Understanding Adopted Teens." Social workers often partner with other systems, like housing authorities, school districts and public health agencies, to make sure children in foster care have the support they need for a healthy, stable life. Many social workers act as advocates for children in foster care. With older youth, for example, they can help them tell their stories in a powerful way that can improve their outcomes or even secure funding for foster care needs. Social workers are tasked with educating potential adoptive parents on understanding the types of trauma children in foster care may experience, and the importance their role as parents play in healing children with trauma. In 2007, 59% of Americans thought children adopted from foster care were more likely to have problems with behavior and self-control. In 2013, that number decreased by 13 points to 46%. IT'S IMPORTANT TO MAKE POTENTIAL ADOPTING PARENTS AWARE OF THE MANY STORIES OF SUCCESSFUL ADOPTIONS TO CONTINUE IMPROVING THESE PERCEPTIONS. STATISTICS FOR SUCCESS In 2005, 60% of adopted children were adopted by their foster parent. 25% were adopted by a relative. OVER 2 MILLION CHILDREN are provided foster care by a relative (known as kinship care). This allows many displaced siblings to stay together and keeps children closer to their neighborhoods, schools and extended families. = 100,000 CHILDREN Children who are adopted by a caring adult show better outcomes later in life - they are more likely to earn a high school diploma, go to college and get a job. PROBLEM #3 Perceived Issues With Expense While the numbers have dropped since 2007, a significant portion of Americans still believe that foster care adoption is somewhat or very expensive. 2007 2013 46% %24 %24 39% Increase awareness about the reality of foster care adoption expenses, which are exceptionally low. SOLUTION $0-$2,500 24 TYPICAL COST OF FOSTER CARE ADOPTION: DATE A Forever Home //00109 //20983 //34098 //24610 Plus, many families qualify for: STATE SUBSIDY STATE OR FEDERAL ADOPTION BENEFITS SUPPORT ADOPTION TAX CREDITS OFFERED BY THEIR EMPLOYERS %24 Federal adoption tax credit per child in 2014: $. O00 $13,190 6 (maximum allowed based on income) $ = $ 1,000 Encouraging Improvements The following data provides an encouraging look into the future of foster care adoption: Americans' opinion of foster care adoption is higher than international or private adoption, which hasn't been the case since 2002. Since 2007, the percentage of Americans who have adopted from foster care increased. The number of children in foster care has been declining since 2002. 1 MILLION 2002 524,000 children 1 MILLION 2013 402,000 children In 2008, the Fostering Connection to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (H.R. 6893/P.L. 110-351) was signed into law. The act provides increased adoption assistance, improved resources, and other provisions to help increases foster care adoptions. II In 2012, Americans considering or seriously considering foster care adoption did so at a slightly higher level than other types of adoption. FOSTER CARE ADOPTION 69% PRIVATE INFANT ADOPTION 64% INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION 53% More than half (51%) of Americans believe that every child is adoptable. UNIVERSITY OF UNE NEW ENGLAND Brought to you by: SOURCES: REPORT-USA-FINALI.pdf %24

The Current State of Foster Parenting

shared by nevuram on Apr 01
Favorability towards foster care adoption has dropped due to misconceptions that its expensive & foster kids are delinquents. Spreading the facts is crucial to debunking these misconceptions.


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