PCHAS Celebrates Foster Care Awareness Month

Foster Care Website Banner Collage

May is National Foster Care Awareness Month and all month long, PCHAS staff have been spreading the word about foster care services and the need for more foster and adoptive parents. We also have been sharing insight into the challenges that foster children face.

Most children in foster care must overcome overwhelming odds to find success in life. There are more than 402,500 children in foster care. About 28% live in the homes of relatives and 47% live in nonrelative foster family homes. Of these children, 65% “age out” of foster care at age 18 without a place to live, fewer than 3% go to college and 51% are unemployed.

These staggering statistics give light to the challenges foster care youth must overcome, and PCHAS staff work tirelessly to help them every step of the way. The PCHAS Foster Care Program matches foster children with the best possible parent(s) to meet their unique needs, be it with a member of the children’s extended family (an aunt, grandmother, etc.) or with a caring foster family. PCHAS also helps some parents simultaneously become foster and adoptive parents. Every step of the way, PCHAS offers individual counseling and case management, arranging regular home visits and monitoring each child’s mental health, educational development and emotional well-being.

Did you know that Texas has the second highest number of children in foster care in the United States? According to the U.S. Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau, in 2013 there were 29,625 children in foster care in the state of Texas. This jarring reality is one of the many reasons Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services works every day to improve the lives of children in foster care in Texas.

This initiative starts with you. PCHAS is always looking for caring individuals interested in becoming foster parents. The PCHAS communications team was recently on the road for four days recording six videos to get the word out to those interested in our program. They travelled to multiple cities in Texas and interviewed former and current foster parents. Be on the lookout for these videos to find out why these couples and single parents love being foster parents.

There are many ways you can help children in foster care. As National Foster Care Awareness Month comes to a close, we ask you to spread the word about foster programs like PCHAS’ and to consider donating or becoming a loving foster care parent yourself.

If you are interested in learning more about the PCHAS Foster Care Program please visit http://texas.pchas.org/foster-care-texas/

By Lindsay Sloan