Why Are Children in Foster Care?
Children and teens enter foster care when their family is going through a crisis and is an opportunity to resolve conflicts. Youth who have experienced abuse or neglect and are deemed unsafe to remain in the home by the courts and are placed in foster homes. Foster care is a temporary arrangement that gives the youth’s family an opportunity to learn healthy skills so they can safely return home. On average, more than half of all children and teens entering foster care return to their birth family within a year.
The Importance of Keeping Children in Their Home Community
When a child or teen enters foster care, their caseworker aims to disrupt the child’s life as little as possible by trying to find a trusted family member for them to live with, or an adult in their life that they already know like a coach or a teacher. Remaining in their home community and attending the same school is also important so that the child can be surrounded by familiar people and routines. However, when there isn’t an option to live with a family member or adult they know, the child will be placed in a foster home. They also may have to change school districts and live in an area they are unfamiliar with, which can lead to added trauma and poor school performance. Therefore, it’s extremely important to keep children and teens in the same community as their birth family. For this reason, foster parents are needed in every community.
How Many Children Are in Foster Care?
Nationally, about 437,000 youth are in foster care. In Missouri, an average of 13,879 youth are in foster care as of October 2021 according to the Missouri Department of Social Services. As this number is increasing, the need for loving foster parents is greater than ever. For a more detailed list of youth in foster care by region, click here.
How You Can Help
In the Missouri foster care system, more foster parents are needed than ever before. The most significant way you can help is by becoming a foster parent. If you’re interested, we’d love to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the process. Click here to contact us!
- What Is Foster Care?
- Who Can Be a Foster Parent in Missouri?
- Which Foster Care Agency Should I Choose?