November Blog: National Adoption Awareness Month
In 2020, over 672,000 children spent time in foster care in the United States. These children can jump from home to home before finally being adopted. Some, unfortunately, fade back into the system. November is national adoption month, a month that aims to raise awareness on adoption and fostering. On average, children remain in foster care or state care for over a year and a half, and five percent of children in foster care have lingered there for five or more years. Despite the common perception that the majority of children in foster care are very young, the actual average of a child entering foster care is eight years old. There is such a thing as “aging out” of foster care. These young people spend most if not their entire lives in the system. Once “aged out”, meaning they did not find a permanent family, they are released into the world alone. These young people are far more likely to suffer from mental illness and/or experience homelessness, unemployment, and even incarceration. 4.5% of the general population in the United States suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). An alarming 21.5% of foster alumni suffer from the disorder. The spike is the same for anxiety disorders as well. Without proper care from a permanent family as well as a mental health professional, these children are at risk to grow into traumatized adults. If you have ever thought about becoming a foster parent or adopting, please reach out to AdoptUSKids. Adoption and fostering can be an extremely positive and amazing experience for both the child and the parents. Every child deserves a loving home. But, challenges can always occur, as they do in biological families. Mental health and counseling services can help greatly during the time of transition for both the parents and the child. Helping the child conquer their grief, trauma, and anxiety can help them grow into the person they were always meant to be. Therapy to help clear up any anxieties or worries for the parents can help them become the most positive and healthy family they could be. If you are a foster child, foster alumni, or foster parent and you are seeking help with behavioral problems, grief, trauma, depression, or anxiety, please reach out to your local counseling agency. You are not alone, and everyone needs help sometimes.