FOSTER CARE PLACEMENT

ADOPTIONS

What it is:  Adoption is the process by which an adoptive parent(s) 18+ in age can take legal responsibility for a child

What the problem is:  There are many forces working against successful adoptions.

Misconceptions:  Many prospective adoptive parents believe that the costs are too high for adoption.  Depending upon the child’s criteria, most adoptions can be completed free of charge

They take too long:  Yes – the adoption process can be lengthy – but only for those that either don’t know the system or for those who don’t have an advocate to help them.  OCA has staff members that have personally gone through the adoption process that can help you expedite the system to meet your and your future child’s needs

The post-adoption process is difficult to navigate:  Absolutely – but only for those adoptive parents that are abandoned once the adoption process is completed.  OCA’s process continues beyond the date of adoption.  Our staff commits to providing post-adoption support that can include:

    •  Supplies

    •  Assistance in filing for adoption subsidies

    •  Therapists

    •  Networking and Support Groups

INDEPENDENT LIVING

What it is:  Foster Care Placement is used as a temporary solution to protect children that are deemed to be in a dangerous environment.  

What the problem is:  The U.S. foster care system was designed to temporarily protect and nurture children whose parents are unable or unwilling to care for them, until those parents become stronger, healthier and are in a position to provide a safe & loving home for their children. 

Sadly, too many children spend years in “the system,” moving to and from foster home, shelters, and residential programs, and, consequently, from one school district to another. They may never feel stabile or connected, lacking the family and community ties that are so critical to young adults learning to make their own way in the world. 

Currently there are 428,000 children in the foster care system and many states do not meet the federal standards of keeping kids safe.

Alarming Statistics:  Studies have shown that lack of bonding as an infant or child can cause lifelong emotional and psychological impact that is very difficult to overcome

3.3 million reports of violence against children.

A Child enters the foster care system every 2 minutes in the United States

32% of kids will wait 3 years before becoming adopted. 15,000 children will be waiting 5 or more years to be adopted.

24,000 age out of the foster care system annually without finding their Forever Family.  They result in high rates of:

    •  PTSD (25%)

    •  Homelessness (20%)

    •  Incarceration

    •  Long term unemployment (50%)

    •  Single parents at a young age (71% of young women) - and their children enter the system as well

    •  School Dropouts (<3% attend higher education)

     

What is our Solution:  Since we are survivors of the system, we have firsthand experience and knowledge of what needs to be addressed in foster care programs:

    •  Insure quality caregivers by training families to help care for children who have trauma (above government standards)

    •  Our case workers are trauma care trained

    •  Providing children access to trauma therapists

    •  Personally vet all foster families to be long-term partners with our organization – often they too are survivors of the system

    •  Mentorship programs to help guide children to adulthood

    •  Leave a Light On Program – Focus on re-placing foster children with the same foster families to promote stability by providing extra support for member foster families

    •  Foster Family Networking

    •  Necessity Bags for late night relocations

    •  Respite Programs

    •  Financial Subsidies

    •  Foster Family Events

What it is:  This term is used to describe the transition for children who age out of the system.  This means that these children never made it back to their natural parents nor were adopted by a foster family.

What the problem is:  Based on personal experiences and backed up by the statistics – there just aren’t any good programs.

    •  Kids are being rushed through programs

    •  Skills aren’t being fully taught and/or absorbed

    •  No focus on job/career placement

    •  No focus on continuing/higher education

    •  No focus on teaching Life Skills

What is our solution: 

    •  Stepped program with reviews after major milestones

    •  Mentoring programs that start at 14 years of age

    •  Skills training classes for homelife

    •  Vocational skills programs

    •  Job placement

    •  College placement exam assistance

    •  College entrance application assistance

    •  College Tours