Supporting Foster Parents

Jerard Brown 12/14/2020

Introduction

With more than 437,000 U.S. children and youth in foster care, and an opioid and substance abuse crisis tearing apart families and communities, states have an urgent need for more foster parents.

Foster parents are instrumental in the lives of children in their care. They must be prepared to address children’s physical, social and emotional needs after what may be a traumatic removal from their home; enroll them in school; provide them a safe and healthy environment; navigate their visits with biological parents and siblings; get them to and from counseling sessions; and, manage their daily activities.

Many foster parents say their voices are not heard and that they are not involved in decision-making related to children in their care. They assert that they do not receive adequate information on children and often do not receive the training necessary to handle the physical, social and emotional issues of the children in their care.  

For some, it gets to be too much. Nearly half of foster parents quit in their first year of fostering. As a result, most child welfare agencies struggle to find and keep a steady number of qualified parents.

Additional Resources