Next week is your chance to do something for kids in foster care. Even if you can’t take a child into your home, you can do something for them and the families that care for them. What can you do? You can pray and ask others to pray for the more than 400,000 children in our nation’s foster care system, as well as their families, their workers, and the Church’s response to the foster care crisis.
You can find a map of prayer vigils already scheduled at the Cry of the Orphan’s website. They offer a prayer guide you can download as well.
May is National Foster Care Month. We just celebrated Mother’s Day and Father’s Day is around the corner. Can you put yourself in the place of a foster child who has been waiting to be adopted for three years or more? That’s the average time that a child waits in foster care to be adopted but they can wait five years or more or never get adopted. Those years are usually spent in several different foster homes, not just one. Many are older kids, with the average age of children waiting to be adopted from foster care being eight years old.
Each year an estimated 28,000 young people age out of the U.S. foster care system at age 18 without an adoptive family. Of those, 77 percent of females become pregnant by the age of 23 or 24, compared to 40 percent of the general population. Eighty-one percent of males are arrested by that age, compared to 17 percent of the general population. Over half experience one or more periods of homelessness. Nearly 30 percent are incarcerated at some point. These facts are from Cry of the Orphan.
Can you imagine having no family to fall back on at the tender age of 18? Do you remember how vulnerable you were back then? Imagine trying to find a job, a place to live and then support yourself totally. These kids need your prayers. Or, can you imagine being uprooted from your family and sent to a new home with little to nothing of your own? That’s what happens to these kids through no fault of their own.
There are some great organizations out there that help these kids. One is Foster Care to Success which provides scholarships to college, care packages and mentors for foster kids. They accept applications to be mentors starting in June.
One Simple Wish provides wishes to foster children. They also provide prom dresses and personal care items for foster care kids. Together We Rise provides thousands of foster kids across the country with sports equipment, bicycles, and suitcases so that they don’t have to travel from home to home in a trash bag.
These are just a few of the organizations out there that help foster children. Pray for them next week and if you feel led to do something then, check them out. God Bless.