Why Are Children in Foster Care?
Children and teens enter foster care when their family is going through a crisis, and foster care gives the family an opportunity to resolve conflicts. Youth who have experienced abuse, neglect or are deemed unsafe to remain in the home by the courts 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 case worker 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?
In West Virginia, 6,938 youth are in foster care as of March 2019. As this number is increasing, the need for loving foster parents is greater than ever.
How You Can Help
In the West Virginia 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!