A Lot Of Kids Age Out Of The Foster Care System But Have No Where To Go

When people think of foster care, usually they think of a younger child who goes to a home for a period of time and then gets "passed" essentially, to the next family for a period of time. Yes, this is true a lot of the time but the world doesn't really see the whole scene of foster care.

Most kids that are in the system are less than a year old. In 2017, 19% of kids entering foster care for the first time were less than one. That means that some of these kids stay in the system their whole life without ever getting a real and long experience of the family dynamic.

The highest number of kids based on age in foster care over the age of 4 is the age of 17. In 2017 there was about 24,688 kids aged 17. Usually once a minor turns 18 (a legal adult in the United States) they age out of the system and are thrown into life. That's when a high percentage are desperate for money and love so they end up as victims of human trafficking, homelessness, and violence.

Of the children that exited foster care in 2017, 8 percent were emancipated and 2 percent had other outcomes which means aging out of the system. Emancipation is a legal mechanism by which a minor is freed from control by their parents or guardians, and the parents or guardians are freed from any and all responsibility toward the child. Children are considered legally incompetent to enter into contracts and to handle their own affairs. Sometimes this is good because the minor could be from a very abusive home but a 16 or 17 year old kid doesn't know how to take care of themselves. I'm still just starting to fully rely on my own income and housing and everything that adults do and if this minor doesn't have a place to live or a job or anything, then they're left out in the cold. Same with the 2% that have other outcomes. They age out of the system and are left figuring it out. According to the U.S. Administration for Children and Families (ACF), by age 21, at least 26% of young people who aged out of foster care in the United States experienced a period or more of homelessness.

There's no way that I will be able to help every single foster child. There's no way that I'll ever get to know and converse with every single foster child. This has been a passion I've had for as long as I can remember- to help kids that can't help themselves and the kids who didn't choose their family or the brokenness and despair it might bring to them. What I can do now, is to bring awareness to this topic and one day become a foster parent. I don't have all the answers and I don't know all there is to being a foster mom but I know that Jesus loves the children and I want to be like Jesus and these kids need love. I can try my best, with Jesus' help, to show love.

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