Over 400,000 children are in the U.S. foster care system at any given time and range in age from days old to teens.
Foster kids enter the system not due to something they did, but due to their parents inability to care for them. Many of these innocent kids enter care with little to no belongings and have suffered the effects of abuse, poverty, neglect, witnessed the effects of drug addiction or have lost their parent to death or incarceration.
With a nationwide shortage of foster parents, and stipends that don’t cover the essentials of a growing child, many children have never owned a new pair of shoes, clothes, or had the opportunity to participate in sports or music. Aging out of care is especially daunting as they are left on their own to find housing and employment, without the funds, education, or guidance that would allow them to succeed.
“Bringing hope to hurting children drives us. Seeing their eyes light up with new clothes for school is such an encouragement. Fear of lack is pervasive with foster children, but when they see the new back–to-school supplies, that fear is diminished!”
Foster Care Partner, Arrow Child & Family Ministries
“Foster youth who are moved from one home to another often struggle with feeling a real sense of belonging. Being a part of a sports team or youth club can give them a sense of stability and support during times of crisis, a shelter from the storms.”
Foster Care Partner, Alternative Family Services