Beyond the Birthdays.
We love what we do but our biggest wish is that the children we serve don't celebrate one more birthday in foster care.
Virginia's foster care system, not unlike most other state's systems, is extraordinarily broken. This complex system faces many challenges that negatively impact the very people it was meant to protect. The solution is not simple but can only be accomplished when our community rallies together to make the children and families it serves a priority.
Statistics about Virginia's foster care system (as of 12/2017):
There are approximately 5,200 children in foster care across the state.
75% of children are in foster care due to severe neglect or parental drug abuse.
Over 13% of young people in foster care have lived in six different places since entering foster care.
In just Richmond City, Chesterfield County and Henrico County alone there are about 485 kids in foster care and about 92 kids in foster care in the City of Alexandria.
31% of these young people have a goal of adoption and about 39% have a goal of returning to their birth family.
In recent years, Virginia has ranked as the state with the highest percentage of children aging out of foster care without permanency - meaning during their time in foster care the system was unable to safely reunify them with their parents or family members and was unable to place them with an adoptive family. This is why there are children and youth who have no one to celebrate them on important days.
While we are honored to be a small part of the birthdays of the young people we serve, we wholeheartedly believe that they deserve to be surrounded on their important days by loving and committed people that will support them into adulthood. This is why our biggest wish is that the young people we serve don't spend one more birthday in foster care!
Visit AdoptUSKids to learn more about children right here in Virginia that are waiting for a family of their own. (Search criteria can be modified to search only children in Virginia)
Visit Virginia Department of Social Services to learn more about how to become a foster family and facts about our local foster care system.
Read the Joint Legislative Audit & Review Commission (JLARC) study on the foster care and adoption services delivered by Virginia’s local departments of social services and supervised by the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS).