Making sure that all children have a permanent and loving home is one of Youth Focus’ top priorities. And, since May is “National Foster Care Month,” what better time to have a conversation about this critical issue?
Child development experts agree that having a permanent home and family is key for a child to grow into a healthy and productive adult. When a child grows up in an environment with an adult who is committed to their long-term well-being and on whom they can depend, the child is simply in a better position to thrive.
Unfortunately, too many foster children lack this basic and stable environment to begin their lives and enter the foster care system because of parental abuse, neglect or abandonment. Removing a child from their home can be devastating and confusing for a child of any age, but the more a foster care child is moved within the system, the greater the chance that the child will lose contact with siblings, other family members, and other friends and adults who have been important in their lives—including neighbors, coaches and religious leaders.
Youth Focus works to find positive outcomes for every young person in foster care and to promote a successful transition to adulthood for older foster children who are becoming adults. Through reuniting foster children with their parents and working with guardians who are committed to caring for foster youth, we are finding successful ways to bring foster youth into stable homes where they have better chances of thriving.
Although we specifically recognize Foster Care Month during May, ensuring that all kids have a stable place to grow up is something that we are working on year round. We have made improvements for foster youth, but we still have much work to do to make sure these kids have the best possible life that they deserve.
Our future depends on it.