It is not an overstatement to say that there is a foster care crisis in the United States.
According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, during the 2015 fiscal year, 269,509 young people entered foster care. That’s an average of 738 children each day being removed from their homes by government authorities.
In South Carolina, as of June 30, 2017, there were 4,126 children in foster care, and 823—20 percent—of them were in group homes.
In 2015, Florida had 217,895 total referrals for child abuse and neglect. Of those, 160,733 reports were referred for investigation. In terms of percentages per 1,000 children in the state’s general population, that is far above the national average.
That same year there were 43,775 victims of abuse or neglect in Florida. Just over half were listed as neglected, about 10 percent physically abused, and nearly 6 percent sexually abused. There were 124 child deaths resulting from abuse or neglect reported in Florida.
More than 22,000 children in Florida lived apart from their families in out-of-home care in 2015, with 9,558 of them five years of age or younger.
In early 2018, the Florida Department of Children and Families called for a comprehensive review of the Hillsborough County (Tampa) foster care system due to poor case management, according to a report in the Tampa Bay Times. The report stated that nearly 4,000 children in Hillsborough County alone are either in foster care or at risk of being removed.
These numbers reflect two things. First, there are a lot of children in the foster care system in the United States. Second, there are far more children in the system than available homes to take them in.
No organization can solve the problem completely, but there some, like Hannah Grace Homes, that are ready to stand in the gap and help. There will always be a need for this kind of service to children, as one HGH staff member recently noted with sadness. With your help, we will continue striving to provide a caring and safe environment for a handful of those children in crisis.
Visit the HOW YOU CAN HELP page on this website for more information on how you can have a part in this work.
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