Communicating about health and social issues is an everyday part of life that involves mass media coverage, entertainment and sports programming, public policy action and more. Communication is increasingly recognized as a necessary element of all efforts to improve well-being and undoubtedly contributes to all aspects of education and awareness about foster care.
Effective communication about foster care can help raise awareness of successful outcomes, provide motivation to become involved and offer solutions to problems faced. Communicating about foster care may also increase the demand for appropriate services and make information available to assist in influencing the public agenda, advocate for policies and programs and promote positive changes.
A Glimpse into the Current State of Foster Care in the U.S.
Currently, there are an estimated 510,000 children in foster care.
According to the latest statistics from Federal Administration for Children and Families data (2006)
• 32 out of 100 foster children are between the ages of 0 and 5
• 28 out of 100 foster children are between the ages of 6 and 12
• 40 out of 100 foster children are between the ages of 13 and 21
The placement settings of children in foster care in 2006 were as follows:
Pre-Adoptive Home 4% 14,213
Foster Family Home (Relative) 27% 107,995
Foster Family Home (Non-Relative) 47% 188,222
Group Home 6% 23,624
Institution 9% 34,656
Supervised Independent Living 1% 3,868
Runaway 1% 5,870
Trial Home Visit 5% 20,568
Who is a Foster Parent?
• Foster parents come from all walks of life.
• They are single, married, divorced, male or female, straight or gay.
• They are able-bodied, or live with disabilities.
• They come from all racial and ethnic backgrounds and belong to many different
communities of faith.
• What they have in common is a genuine love for children and a desire to make a difference in the lives of children and families.