With May being National Foster Care month, we want to bring light to some alarming statistics about foster care in the United States.
On any given day, roughly 424,000 children are in foster care across the country. Many of these children end up in foster care due to parent incarceration, alcohol or drug abuse. But the most common reason is due to neglect. All of this can impact their mental health.
Over a quarter of these children will leave the foster care system via adoption while nearly half of them will go back home to their parents or primary caretaker. Nearly 22,000 children will have been in foster care for over five years, as of 2019.
There are also over 120,000 children waiting to be adopted from the foster care system. Roughly 24,000 teenagers each year turn 18 and age out of the system before they are able to be adopted.
What happens when they emancipate out of the system?
At 18, these teens have to fend for themselves completely. They have to find a place to live, a job to financially support themselves and, if they are still in high school, finish their education.
According to Forever Family, within two to four years of aging out of the system:
40% were homeless
40% were receiving public assistance or were incarcerated
40% experienced drug or alcohol abuse
46% had not finished high school
51% were unemployed
84% became parents
Create Now works to not only help children through the arts, but also prepare teens for the potential to live on their own. Our classes teach these young people how to prepare healthy meals. They’re learning skills that can lead to careers in photography, fashion design, journalism and creative writing. Our graphic design program teaches them how to generate logos and other content that can be used in the business sector.