May is National Foster Care Awareness Month

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]May is National Foster Care Awareness Month. I’m so thankful that our graphic design intern, Kehinde Adekoya, approached me with the idea of highlighting this issue. At first glance, I didn’t think Foster Care Awareness fit within our business pillars of sustainability and social justice. But, after the news broke about Ma’Khia Bryant – a 16-year-old Black girl in the foster care system who was fatally killed by a Columbus Ohio police officer – it was evident this was a topic we needed to talk about. Read more from Kehinde as she shares foster care statistics and why she decided to get involved in her local community with an organization that is making its mark in the foster care system. -Jessica Shely, GPD Founder/CEO

By Kehinde Adekoya

The foster care system in the United States of America is a system known but now recognized.

The population of the foster care system continues to grow every year in each state. According to government statistics, more than half a million youths living in the United States are currently in the foster care system or have been in the foster care system. Many children are placed in the foster care system because their parents or other relatives cannot care for them due to various reasons such as alcoholism and abuse.

The foster care system’s overall goal is to take care of the children while their parents or family relatives are recovering from drug addiction, finishing their sentencing in prison, or working on their mental health.  Though over 437,000 children and youth are in foster care, approximately 118,000 children and youth in the U.S. are waiting to be adopted.

Here are a few important data points I’ve discovered:

  • The number one reason people are in foster care is neglect from their family members.
  • Over 30% of LGBTQ+ youth have experienced physical violence at the hands of a family after coming out.
  • Due to family issues, most foster care children and youth are seven times more likely to have depression and five times more likely to have anxiety.
  • Foster children are more likely to become victims of sex trafficking and become homeless.
  • Almost 60% of young foster care males have been incarcerated.
  • 33% of homeless young adults have previously been in foster care.

Amid the issues foster children face, foster care systems aim to reunite the foster children with their parents who have shown a significant amount of self-improvement and prove that they are willing and able to provide financially, emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

This project is near and dear to my heart because I am able to highlight the issues occurring in foster care. For the past few years, I have been interested in life quality and wellness foster care for children and youth. In the past, I have done multiple research projects on the issues going on in foster care and how the foster care system population constantly rises.

Currently, I do volunteer work for Creative Community Center, a non-profit organization based in Georgia. This organization aims to improve the quality of life for children and youth in foster care. Volunteering at Creative Community Center has sparked so much joy in my heart because I believe I’m fulfilling my purpose. Volunteering at this organization has also allowed me to interact with foster care children and learn more about what foster care organization is for the children.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

May 10, 2021



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