RALEIGH, N.C. — The Children’s Home Society of North Carolina says that local foster care and adoption is in a state of crisis as the number of children in foster care has increased significantly, but the number of adoptions have not.
“About five years ago, we had just over 8,000 children in foster care in our state,” Brian Maness, president of the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina, said in a statement. “Today, there are about 10,500 children in foster care, an increase of more than 25% in the last five years. That is a trend we would very much like to reverse.”
He said that the number of children in foster care increased every month in 2016 as compared to the year prior—an arrangement that is especially hard on youth who do not know what their life will be from one day to the next.
“For a child in foster care, it’s a state of limbo, where they don’t know what their future holds. They don’t know whether they’re going to remain with that foster family, move to another foster home, return to their biological family or whatever situation they came from, or whether they are going to find an adoptive family,” Maness explained.
“Last year, we were able to place only 12 percent of the children referred to us,” he said. “We need to increase public awareness of the foster care crisis and expand our capacity of adoptive and foster homes for children.”
The society is hoping that more residents will step forward with an interest in adoption.
“Time is an eternity to a child. We don’t want any child to spend one day longer than they absolutely need to in foster care,” Maness said. “Our goal is to help each child achieve permanency with a safe and loving family that will be theirs forever. We want to shorten that period of time as much as possible.”
Some of the children posted on the AdoptUSKids website include Azion, 9, who is described as a “sweet, loving and compassionate child who enjoys hugs and snuggles with those he loves.” He is currently obtaining grief and trauma counseling.
“It will be important for Azion’s adoptive family to have a firm understanding of trauma and its effects on children at different developmental stages in life.” his bio outlines.
Natalie, 13, enjoys gymnastics, reading, arts and crafts, and horseback riding, and also has an interest in fashion.
“Her dream is to establish relationships and friendships that she doesn’t have to leave behind. Natalie has expressed that she wants a family that ‘won’t give me away when I do one thing wrong,'” her bio states.
Adrian, Neveah and Ty are three siblings who would like to stay together. They enjoy sports, music and playing outside.
“All three children are excited about adoption. They strongly desire to be adopted together, and they would like a Christian family, or a family that is willing to attend church for their benefit,” their bio outlines.
As previously reported, adopting children in foster care is very inexepensive compared to a private or overseas adoption.
“Adoption from foster care is virtually free, and you can also get subsidies for a certain amount of time and additional resources and support post-adoption,” Theresa Freed, the communications director for the Kansas Department of Children and Families, told Christian News Network earlier this month. “It’s a very cost effective way to adopt, and also a very meaningful and important way to adopt.”
She explained the process that prospective parents would need to follow.
“They would go through a 10-week training, which consists of 30 hours of training about children from foster care and issues that may come up and how to address those,” Freed outlined. “They go through background checks, and they go through a home inspection.”
“And so, once that process is completed, then they can be prepared for adoption, and there is an introduction between the children and the prospective adoptive parents,” she continued. “And there is work behind the scenes that’s happening between case managers [and] the court system to just make sure this is a good fit.”
Those interested in adopting foster children in North Carolina may call 704-336-KIDS or email firstname.lastname@example.org