May 2, 2006

State of Alabama
Press Release: Human Resources, Department of

May is National Foster Care Month

Alabama currently has 5,800 children in the custody of the state living in some type of out-of-home setting. Approximately 4,100 of these children and youth live in traditional or therapeutic foster family homes. We must address the pressing needs of the foster care population now or face the consequences for generations to come.

Foster care promotes the healing process by offering a stable and secure environment until the child can either return home or establish an alternative living relationship with a caring adult (such as through adoption).

Approximately 630 of Alabama’s foster children are legally available for adoption. Three hundred eighty-six will be adopted by their current foster parents. The remaining 245 are waiting for their forever home to be identified.

Nationally, nearly 20,000 youth will age out of foster care this year – many are only 18 years old and still need support and services. These young people are often left vulnerable to a host of adverse situations such as: homelessness, unemployment, compromised mental health, poor educational status, poverty, substance abuse and incarceration.

It is our responsibility to ensure the safety, permanency and well being of Alabama’s children. Nearly every community in this state is urgently seeking more foster parents to meet the needs of children and youth of all ages. Foster homes allow displaced youth to live together with their siblings, remain in their own neighborhoods, and stay in their same schools.

Foster parenting is a significant and rewarding opportunity that helps shape brighter futures. There also are a variety of other meaningful ways for individuals, organizations and communities to get involved and make a lasting difference in the lives of young people in foster care.

Ten Ways You Can Support Youth in Foster Care 

        Now is the time for you to come forward for a child in any way you can.

What you choose to do today will make a lasting difference in the life of a child

Help honor and recognize the many caring individuals that work year-round on behalf of our state’s most vulnerable children.

Call 1-866-4AL-Kids to get more information about becoming a foster parent or learn about other ways you canhelp

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