Why This Is Rewarding and Challenging

Future Risks Around Mental Health

Many foster parents will tell you this work is the most important they’ve ever done. Roughly 50%–60% of children entering the foster system have significant emotional or behavioral issues.

Once they leave the system, prospects aren’t much brighter. For context, foster children are more likely to develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) than war veterans.

Displacement and Risk of Arrest

This is why the work of a foster parent is both so important and so hard. On one hand, if you can be a foster child’s “final stop” and provide them a wonderful home, you may be diffusing the risk that they transition from the foster care system to the criminal justice system. Below is data from investigators at the University of Illinois on foster care children in Chicago from 1995 to 2000. As you can see, there is a clear correlation between how many homes a child has lived in and the odds of future arrests.

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Foster Care 101

In this course we'll cover the steps to starting the foster process, how to help children who've suffered emotional and physical trauma, how to navigate transracial challenges, what the process looks like for single and LGBTQ individuals, and the process of adopting through the foster care system.