Monday, November 02, 2015

We Never Outgrow the Need for Family

The National Adoption Awareness theme for 2015 is "We Never Outgrow the Need for Family," and is focused on the adoption of older youth. It is time to pay attention to America's teenagers living in foster care. These are our children, we are supporting them and the outcomes have not been positive.


When compared with their peers (who live with their permanent and biological families), young people in foster care face higher rates of poor outcomes. Youth in foster care face higher rates for dropping out of high school, unemployment, and homelessness. Young people between the ages of 15 and 18 represent 5 percent of the children currently living in foster care placements.(Children's Bureau, 2015').

Even in the face of disadvantage, research on positive youth development confirms that children and teens do have an ability to rise above and overcome the traumatic experiences and build a positive thriving adult future when they are connected to a strong, permanent support system.

Every young person needs a sense of belonging and opportunity to build lifelong connections which are critical in helping them prepare for adulthood. These lasting connections may play a major role in helping young people navigate the complicated landscape of their emerging independence and provide a sense of stability. Youth connected to a family who not only provide a sense of stability but also gain help in important life tasks like enrolling in college, finding stable housing, job hunting and building healthy relationships.

During National Adoption Month, prospective adoptive families can learn more about the needs of older youth and opportunities to positively guide them toward successful outcomes. Stay tuned for more info!
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Children's Bureau. (2015). The AFCARS Report: Preliminary FY 2013 estimates as of July 2014, No. 22. Retrieved from https://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/resource/afcars-report-22.

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