May is National Foster Care Month!


WARREN COUNTY, OH -- National Foster Care Month has been observed throughout the United States during the month of May every year since 1988. This serves as a reminder of the countless children and youth who find themselves in need of safe and loving homes. It is also the time to celebrate the tireless efforts of foster families, case workers, and advocates, while reflecting on the challenges and triumphs within the foster care system.

Here are some of the numbers related to foster care:

  • At any given time, there are over 400,000 children in the American foster care system.
  • 40% of those kids are White, 23% African American, 21% Hispanic.
  • Abuse/neglect accounts for over 60% of children removed from their home.
  • On average, a child can spend 12-20 months in foster care.
  • About 10% spend over five years in foster care.
  • Nearly 23% of foster care children live in institutions, group homes, trial and pre-adoptive homes.

A Growing Need

Southwestern Ohio is facing a severe shortage of foster care providers. When this happens, children are sent to foster families sometimes hours away. As you can imagine, this adds stress and uncertainty to an already traumatic experience.

Foster to Adopt

While the goal of foster care is reunification with the birth parent(s), sadly this isn’t always possible. Children who are not able to return to their birth family may be placed permanently with relatives/kin or may be available for adoption. As a result, for those interested in adopting, fostering to adopt is often the best approach.

Adopting from foster care costs little to no money and is similar to private adoption. However, because many children in foster care have experienced some form of trauma, parents who adopt from foster care should be prepared to undergo some training to help them understand trauma and other needs the children may have.

How to Help

If you have ever wondered about becoming a foster or adoptive parent, here are some qualifications:

  • You may be married, single or divorced.
  • You may have other children in the home.
  • You must be at least 18 years old to adopt, or at least 21 to foster.
  • You may own or rent a house/apartment as long as adequate space is available.
  • You will receive training to help you to parent foster or adopted children.
  • You and an assessor will determine your parenting strengths during a home study.
  • You will receive a per diem to assist with the child’s daily living expenses.

It’s important to note that children in foster care have their own insurance and foster care providers receive subsidies to offset many costs. While many qualify to become a foster care provider, it isn’t for everyone. You may be wondering what else you can do to help. You might be surprised at how big of an impact one person can make.

Consider becoming a Foster Care provider, Respite Provider, or Adoptive Parent. 

Just as important, encourage others to seriously investigate the same. You never know who may be thinking about becoming a Foster Care or Adoptive parent. One word from you may be all it takes to get them to take that next step.

Learn More

As we observe National Foster Care Month, let’s embrace the fundamental belief that every child deserves a loving and supportive family. Let’s celebrate successes, meet the challenges, and strive to ensure that children throughout our southwestern Ohio communities receive the support to reach their full potential.

Clermont for Kids ( serves counties throughout southwestern Ohio including Adams, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, Highland, and Warren. Contact Trina Farrell at 513-732-7765 to learn more about becoming a foster care provider, foster to adopt, or how you can help to spread the word!

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