What is foster care in the United States? The U.S. foster care system was designed to temporarily protect and nurture children whose parents are unable or unwilling to care for them, until those parents become stronger, healthier and in a position to provide a safe loving home for their children. Sadly, too many children spend years in “the system,” moving from foster home to group home to foster home, and from one school district to another. As an adoption center in CA, we’re going to cover a few myths today surrounding children in the foster care system.
- Myth: Most children in foster care have had dozens of placements. Fact: The average number of placements for a foster child is around three.
- Myth: Most children in foster care are teenagers. Fact: The median age of children in foster care is 8, and almost 50% of children in foster care are over the age of 10 . An estimated 70% of children in foster care have siblings in foster care .
- Myth: All children in foster care have special needs and require special education. Fact: Many children in foster care are regular children who unfortunately had to be removed from their families due to abuse or neglect.The term “special needs” simply refers to children who qualify for adoption assistance due to specific factors or conditions such as:
-Being an older child
-Having a particular racial or ethnic background
-Being part of a sibling group needing to be placed together as one unit
-Physical, mental, or emotional handicaps
A child with special needs should not be confused with a child who requires special education.