Across the US, more and more Christians are stepping up for kids in foster care–via mentoring, fostering, adoption and more. Region- and state-wide networks of churches are engaging together–from Colorado to Florida to Kentucky to Texas to Arkansas to Illinois to Georgia to California to Oklahoma.
This week, the Federal government announced some good news regarding the number of adoptions from foster care nationwide: they’re up, significantly. No doubt this is the result of many factors in tandem. But both anecdotal and hard data suggest that practicing Christians are particularly open to adopting from foster care. So it’s fair to guess that this growing Christian engagement with foster care is beginning to make a difference not only for individual children, but on entire systems nationally–just as it has been documented to do in places like Colorado, Florida and Illinois.
Here’s the press release from the U.S. Administration for Children, Youth and Families:
Adoption rate increases for children in foster care
New data on adoption and foster care suggests that while the number of children in foster care remains steady, the adoption rate continues to climb. According to statistics released by HHS’ Administration for Children and Families, approximately 13.1 percent of the children in foster care were adopted last year, an increase from 12.6 percent the previous year and 9.5 percent in 2003.
There were 399,546 children in foster care last year. This was less than a one-half percent increase to the previous year’s total of approximately 398,000 after a nearly 25 percent decrease since 2002, when there were approximately 524,000 children in foster care.
“The data suggests states are striking a balance between improving the quality of child welfare services and moving children to permanent families,” said Administration on Children, Youth and Families Commissioner Bryan Samuels. “Our role will be to continue to help states find that right balance with limited resources moving forward.”
Adoption is not the goal for every child in foster care. The majority of children who leave foster care are reunited with their parents or other relatives.
The full report is available at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/resource/afcars-report-20.
A breakdown of trends since 2002 is available at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/resource/trends-in-foster-care-and-adoption.