‘Faith in Families’ hopes to aid more foster children
Since April 2007, the number of children in state foster care has dropped by 22 percent. That’s a major step forward but sadly, 4,000 children remain in the system. In 2012 alone, more than 7,300 were in foster care, with 652 finding adoption into a family.
The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has announced that a new initiative, Faith in Families, will be phased in by 2015 with the goals of increasing adoptions for foster children, identifying and encouraging potential foster and adoptive families and safely reducing the number of children who enter foster care.
DCFS Secretary Suzy Sonnier said in a recent interview, “Research indicates that children who age out of foster care without a permanent connection face significant challenges including homelessness, unemployment, mental health and substance abuse issues and involvement with the criminal justice system,” she said. “Lifelong connections are key to assuring that these children have a place to live, stay in school and make positive decisions about their lives going forward.”
Of course, in order to make this happen, foster and adoptive families will be needed. It’s not always easy being a foster parent. So many of the kids in foster systems today suffer from a number of problems by no fault of their own. Being a foster parent is much more than setting rules and making sure a child eats breakfast or attends school. It takes patience, dedication and understanding.
Now might be the right time to start thinking about a new type of family planning: either becoming a foster parent or considering adopting one of the many children living in state foster care.
Information on foster care and adoption is available at www.dcfs.louisiana.gov.
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