Today over 16,000 precious hearts have been uprooted, forgotten, abused or neglected in Ohio alone. This is approximately how many foster children and youth who are in our state today. According to Foster Care Capacity, in 2022 despite the need, there were only 7,639 licensed foster homes.
These children have never been in a stable home; may never been cooked a hot meal, never tucked in at night, never been helped with homework or given a birthday party. Many foster youth have never had the chance to simply…be a kid.
According to Foster Care Capacity, out of the thousands of kids in the foster system, approximately 32% are between the ages of 13-17. Despite the great need for foster homes, many teenagers are displaced without any home to go. Many must go to group homes, couch surf, or jump from foster home to foster home. And sadly, many teens age out of the foster care system without ever having a place to call home.
Once a teen ages out of the system they are fighting against some sobering statistics.
20% become instantly homeless
Less than 3% get a college degree
70% of women become pregnant before they are 21
25% will be incarcerated within 2 years
Only half will find a job that can support them
Can you imagine aging out of the foster system completely alone? Without family to guide you into early adulthood? Without having a single consistent person to love or place to call home?
Follow this Foster a Teen blog series to learn more about the growing need for teen foster parents. You will hear from current Encourage foster parents and learn more about the process of becoming a foster parent.
Be their dream. Foster a teen. CLICK HERE to learn more.