America’s Kids Belong has developed an innovative model for bringing together leaders in government, business, faith communities and civic organizations to forge a statewide coalition to drive sustainable change in foster care.
We leverage the unique capabilities of each of these sectors to close the gap between the number of kids in foster care and the availability of certified foster parents. We help recruit more foster parents and fight high attrition rates with Foster Friendly programs that wrap around these hard-working families with essential services and support.
Our goal: To change who waits.
Here’s a Snapshot of What’s Not Working in Foster Care Today
Hundreds of thousands of kids in the U.S. have been removed from their families due to abandonment, neglect and/or abuse. When they enter foster care far too many kids are suffering, left to feel like they don’t belong because there aren’t enough families willing to open their hearts and homes, and there isn’t enough community support to sustain them.
When families and communities don’t engage, the kids’ outcomes worsen.
They get bounced around and can end up being raised by institutions. Many end up on a broken path to an even darker future.
They end up living
on the streets
They turn to
They become trafficked by people who exploit their vulnerability
They take their own lives at higher rates than their peers
And unfortunately perpetuate a generational cycle, eventually losing their own children to the foster care system.
Everyone In A Community Has A Role In Improving Foster Care
America’s Kids Belong is building coalitions in the states where we have a presence to change:
- the hearts and minds of entire communities toward these kids
- their experience in foster care
- and their outcomes by driving for permanency within healthy families where they belong
We acknowledge that not everyone in the community is able to foster or adopt, but we deeply believe that everyone can play a valuable role in improving foster care in their communities, and we’re here to facilitate those meaningful engagements to achieve sustainable change.
Imagine What it Would Be Like to Live in a Foster Friendly State
When communities come together for kids in foster care, it changes their lives forever. They can stay with their brothers and sisters, they can stay in their school and with their friends. They know they belong. They have the opportunity to heal from their trauma, and they have hope for a future of having their own healthy family and belonging to a caring community. When the community becomes aware of the challenges kids face in foster care, and they get engaged, lives are changed forever.
We partner with businesses, faith communities and civic organizations to create Foster Friendly communities that promote retention by ensuring the experiences of foster families look more like this:
A faith or civic organization gets the word when a family takes a new placement and shows up with care packages and groceries.
Local news organizations reports on the positive impact of foster care on the lives of kids.
The governor, mayor and other political leaders prioritize “improving the experiences and outcomes for kids in foster care.”
Local restaurants offer discounts on kids’ meals.
Kids in foster care can enjoy discounts on practical needs like haircuts, school supplies and shoes.
Families are offered discounts for treats that might not otherwise be doable for them, like a photographic sitting, visits to area recreation and attractions, etc.
How You Can Become a Foster Friendly Change Agent
There are two important steps to take to become an advocate for change in foster care.
Commit to learning more about the foster care system, experiences and needs.
Blog sign up here
Contact us and we’ll help connect you with programs and resources in your state
Interest Form here