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How do you find a child in foster care
About the children - AdoptUSKids
Children and teens enter foster care through no fault of their own, because they have been abused, neglected, or abandoned and are unable to continue living safely with their families
According to the most recent federal data, there are currently more than 400,000 children in foster care in the United States. They range in age from infants to 21 years old (in some states). The average age of a child in foster care is more than 8 years old, and there are slightly more boys than girls.
Children and youth enter foster care because they have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by their parents or guardians. All of these children have experienced loss and some form of trauma. In other ways, foster children are no different from children who aren’t in foster care: they are learning and growing, like to play and hang out with friends their age, and need the love and stability a permanent home provides.
Learn about the children in foster care and the qualities of successful families by clicking through our short, interactive modules.
The median amount of time that a child spends in foster care is just over a year. More than half of the children in foster care will be reunified with their parents or primary caregivers, and nearly one-quarter will be adopted, many by their foster parents.
Each year, approximately 20,000 youth will age out of the foster care system when they turn 18 or 21, or when they finish high school (depending upon the state in which they live.) These children are at increased risk of poor educational outcomes, experiencing homelessness, and being unemployed. Read more about why teens need families.
Young people talk about how being adopted changed their lives.
Frequently asked questions about children in foster care
AdoptUSKids foster care and adoption resource specialists respond to hundreds of questions about foster care and adoption, and an active community of families is always exchanging information on our Facebook page. Following are our responses to some of the questions that are frequently asked about the children in foster care.
How many children are awaiting adoption in the United States?
Of the 400,000 children in foster care, approximately 117,000 are waiting to be adopted.
I have heard that many children in foster care have “special needs.” What does that mean?
The term “special needs” simply refers to children who qualify for adoption assistance—ongoing governmental medical and/or financial support after adoption occurs—due to specific factors or conditions such as:
Being an older child
Having a particular racial or ethnic background
Being part of a sibling group needing to be placed together as one unit
Physical, mental, or emotional disabilities
A child with special needs should not be confused with a child who requires special education.
I see a lot of older children in photolistings like the one on AdoptUSKids. Why would I want to adopt an older child?
Imagine being a teenager grappling with the transition into adolescence and independence all alone. That is the situation facing thousands of young people who face aging out of foster care alone every year. These teens need support, guidance, and family now and for the rest of their lives.
Read more about why teens need families.
Are brothers and sisters always adopted together?
In an ideal world, the answer would be yes. Research suggests that siblings placed together experience lower risk of failed placements, fewer moves, and many emotional benefits. Even when siblings have been separated in foster care, the goal is to find them a safe, permanent home where they can grow up together.
Read more about the benefits of adopting siblings.
Things to do next:
Search for children. There are more than 5,000 children photolisted on our website.
Read about the support available to adoptive families.
Thousands of children in California's foster care system require temporary out-of-home care because of parental neglect, abuse, or exploitation. The largest percentages are African American and Latino children. Some stay in foster care for weeks; some for years. The children are of all ages and varying needs. Foster parents provide a supportive and stable family for children who cannot live with their birth parents until family problems are resolved. In most cases, foster parents work with social services staff to reunite the child with birth parents. Foster parents often provide care to many different children.
A license is required to operate a foster home. The process requires a licensing worker to visit your home and meet with you and other family members. Minimum personal, safety and space requirements are required by law. Foster parents work with social services staff to determine the type of child best suited for their home (i.e., age, health issues, and gender). Foster parents receive a monthly payment to feed, clothe, and meet the material needs of the children placed in their care. Medical and dental coverage is provided through the Medi-Cal program. For working parents, appropriate child care arrangements must be made by the foster parents.
How to Become a Foster Parent
Foster Parent Frequently Asked Questions
Caseworker Resources: Family Reunification, Concurrent Planning, and Permanency
Child and Family Teams (CFTs)
Approved Relative Caregiver (ARC) Funding Option Program
Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment Program (Kin-Gap)
Kinship Support Services Program (KSSP)
Resource Family Approval Program (RFA)
California Wraparound Services
Pathways to Well-Being (Katie A. )
Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC)
Foster Care Audits & Rates
Foster Youth Education
Healthy Sexual Development
Family Urgent Response System (FURS)
Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression (SOGIE)
Transition Age Youth
Chafee Prepaid Cash Card
Resources for Transition Age Youth with Disabilities
AB 12 Extended Foster Care Program and Benefits
Independent Living Program (ILP)
Transitional Housing Programs for Current and Former Foster Youth
Chafee Educational and Training Vouchers Program (ETV)
Foster Parent Recruitment, Retention, and Support Funding Opportunity (FPRRS)
Provider Time Study Project
Resources & Information
Tribal Background Check Resources and Information
Foster Youth Wellness Resources
FSH Fund Information
Foster Care and Adoptive Resource Families Recruitment and Training
Foster Care Education Travel Reimbursement Brochure
Senate Bill 1064 -The Reuniting Immigrant Families Act
Foster Family Home Licensing Contacts/State
Foster Family Agencies
Multiethnic Placement Act and Interethnic Adoption Provisions (MEPA-IEP)
Public Health Nurse Standards of Practice Addendum
Peer Partner Programs
Updates on Unaccompanied Immigrant Children
Foster Care Support Services Bureau 744 P Street, MS 8-13-78 Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 651-7465
Contact Your County
Leaflet "Help a child find a family"
FORMS OF FAMILY EDUCATION OF ORPHANS AND CHILDREN LEFT WITHOUT PARENTAL CARE
a person or a married couple who are not his biological father and mother. All rights and obligations of an adopted child are equal to the rights and obligations of natural children.
Custody and trusteeship - a form of placement of orphans and children left without parental care for the purpose of their maintenance, upbringing and education, as well as for the protection of their rights and interests; guardianship is established over children under 14 years of age; guardianship is established over children aged 14 to 18 years.
Placement of a child under guardianship or guardianship is carried out taking into account his opinion. The appointment of a guardian for a child who has reached the age of ten years is carried out only with his consent. The transfer of brothers and sisters under guardianship or guardianship to different persons is not allowed, unless such transfer is in the interests of the children.
A foster family recognizes guardianship or guardianship over a child or children, which are carried out under a foster family agreement concluded between the guardianship and guardianship authority and the adoptive parents or foster parent, for the period specified in this agreement.
Adoptive parents can be spouses, as well as individual citizens who wish to adopt a child or children for upbringing. Individuals who are not married to each other cannot be adoptive parents of the same child. 9STEP 1 plan in the amount of 43 hours, of which at least 70% of academic hours are practical classes (training). The preparation period does not exceed 1.5 months.
The list and details of organizations providing training is published on the website
STEP 2. Get advice from the guardianship and guardianship authority at the place of residence (list and details on the website), collect a package of necessary documents and obtain the conclusion of the guardianship and guardianship authority on the possibility of a citizen to be an adoptive parent, guardian (trustee) or foster parent (indicating the specific form of family arrangement)
STEP 3. Find a child and get a referral to visit a child
Information about children in need of family placement can be found on the following websites:
Adoption in Russia
STEP 4. Submit documents to the court and obtain a court decision on adoption (adoption)
A sample statement of claim is published on the website0006
If you decide to take a child, do not rush - once again weigh all the pros and cons, carefully analyze your motives, determine what drives you. You should not act when you are impressed, just out of pity or to solve your own problems.
Think about the possibilities and resources of your health, about who will be able to support you in a difficult moment and how you will cope with housing and financial problems. It does not hurt to imagine what you will do in the event of a divorce, a serious illness in a child, the appearance of his relatives. Try to solve as many of your problems as possible before, and not after, the adoption of the child into the family.
Together with the child, not only joy will come to the family, but also worries, troubles, moral and physical stress. Think about whether you will be flexible enough over the years to be able to support a teenager, perceive his interests and a peculiar social circle.
If you already have a child, it is very important to understand and even participate. Quite often, parents who have experienced a loss believe that an adopted child can replace the deceased. It's unfortunate, but it's not. In such a situation, time must pass, you need to survive the loss, get sick, and most importantly - understand: it will be a different child, a different life.
born in 2006
born in 1997
Information about children can be obtained by calling the regional operator of the state data bank on children left without parental care:
+7 (3467) 329-330
born in 2002
born in 1998
born in 2003
born in 2002
born in 2012
born in 2012
born in 2001
born in 1998
Help the child find a family
Adopted child in the family
The period of adaptation of family life when adopting a child is quite difficult. On the one hand, it may seem that the main thing is just to love a child, and then all problems and difficulties will be solved by themselves. But it is not so. The fact is that in the case of a foster child, there are some differences that make adaptation and family life special. And here it is important not only to love the child, but also to have the necessary information and knowledge.
It must be remembered that a difficult event happened in the life of every adopted child - he lost his family and parents. Very young children (up to a year or two) may not remember this consciously, but, nevertheless, all this leaves a mark on their lives: they may develop an attachment disorder, often a developmental lag. Older children, as a rule, experience severe stress, fear, pain of losing one of the foundations of their lives. All this cannot but affect not only their development, but also their psychological state, perception of the world and themselves in it.
That is why it is important for adoptive parents to have not only love for the child and a general positive attitude, but also certain knowledge, as well as a willingness to accept the help of specialists.
Prospective adoptive parents or guardians need to be aware of attachment disorders that occur in foster children. These violations are the root of many problematic situations, so if a parent understands what is happening with his adopted child, then it is easier for him to maintain self-control himself, as well as find an approach to the child and solve problems that arise.
Attachment is the desire to maintain and maintain an intimate relationship with another person. This is a need for closeness, communication, trust. It has been scientifically proven that emotional warmth affects the development of children. The care and participation of an adult allows the child to learn from adults, to trust both people and the world as such. If a small child has not had the experience of long-term close relationships with one person, or these relationships have been interrupted several times and not restored, then his ability to maintain attachment is reduced or lost, in connection with which, for example, the following situations may arise:
child provokes, deliberately irritates parents, tests for strength;
the child may not allow a trusting relationship with any adult at all. He is closed, emotionally cold. He is not aggressive, but avoids intimate relationships;
the child is either rude and provokes, or behaves in exactly the opposite way - looking for affection and attention;
the child deliberately violates boundaries, does not feel sympathy, prefers to be feared. In these cases, violent and destructive actions can be observed;
the child is looking for mom and dad in all the surrounding people, ready to be affectionate with everyone. Quality here is replaced by quantity.
Typically, the behavior of a child with an attachment disorder can be classified into one of the types described above. Parents need to know that almost all of them are corrected, but it takes time, patience, and sometimes the help of specialists. Situations with cruel, destructive behavior of a child require separate control, because it is especially difficult to achieve the socialization of such a child.
Is it necessary to tell the child about the birth family?
Whether to tell a child about his biological parents, and how to do it - this question worries almost all adoptive parents. On the one hand, it may seem that talking about blood parents will bring up sad or unpleasant memories, and adoptive parents avoid this. But if you do not talk about something, this does not mean that the child will not think about it, and the situation as such will not change.
The first question is whether it is worth telling the child at all that he is adopted. This question, as a rule, arises in the case of the adoption of very young children who cannot yet consciously remember their parents.
If you answer this question briefly, then the adoption specialists say unequivocally - yes, the child needs to be informed. And this is confirmed by decades of practice and thousands of families in which difficulties arose precisely because of attempts to keep a secret.
Some adoptive parents are trying to create a mystery, and the mystery shrouds many relatives and friends of the family. Growing up children often already guess that they are not being told something. Cases when the secret nevertheless becomes clear occur frequently, but the consequences of this for a child (at any age, even an adult) are very difficult. He suffers from a sense of trust in the world, belonging to his family. Family conflicts arise, sometimes very difficult. There may even be a break with foster parents on an emotional wave. Therefore, telling the child about his birth parents in time and correctly is the way to ensure that the child accepts this situation in the least painful way.
The sooner this is done, the better. A small child will take it for granted, and then just gradually grow up with it. Maybe he will remember this very rarely. But in any case, this information will no longer be a shock to him and in itself will not be an obstacle to the formation of close relationships with the foster family.
If the adoptive parents feel some kind of inconvenience, fear, shame to talk about it, then it is better to first deal with their feelings and their cause. As a rule, in all guardianship authorities there are schools for adoptive parents, where psychologists specialize in these topics. Other psychological services can also be consulted. The main thing is that the adoptive mother or father can regain confidence and calmness.
Three stages of adaptation
There are three conditional stages that a family goes through after adopting a child.
First - idealization
Both the child and the adoptive parents see their future life in a rainbow light. Everyone tries to please each other. This is an important stage, and high expectations somewhat smooth out the change of environment for the child and help to establish contact.
In no more than a month or two, inevitable conflicts appear, because the child has to adapt to new rules, and parents have to change their lives. And the next stage begins...
Adaptation in the family
Now the child can already demonstrate the fear of attachment to new people, and test the new rules for strength, and intensely yearn for a birth family or a children's institution. Children may not obey, show aggression.
Here, the adoptive parents will need maximum patience, perseverance, flexibility, the ability to build a dialogue, to seek compromises. This stage lasts about 6 months, and as a result, a sense of community and trust should appear in the family.
After this conflicting and difficult period, as a rule, a more stable state sets in, when the child has integrated into the new routine, and the family has accepted the child. At this stage, you can talk with the child about his past, create new family traditions and rules.
Tips for adapting a child to a foster family
Comfort and support
Almost all children who leave orphanages experience a feeling of sadness. They may worry about the loss of their blood family, and about parting with friends from the orphanage that has become familiar, and simply about the difficulty of adapting to a new place. Parents need to be given the opportunity to cry out, express their feelings, and at the same time be there, try to calm the child and show their support, care and attention.
Daily routine and new rules
It is difficult for a child to adapt, so you need to explain the new rules, the daily routine as clearly, in detail, calmly as possible. About what will happen on each day of the week. This certainty will help the child feel more confident and calm.
Adults need to help and support the child. Help to pack for school, plan a schedule.
Physical health care, clothing and personal effects
It is advisable to take into account the child's preferences in food, find out what he likes. Help him fall asleep in the evening, be with him. Maybe he is not used to sleeping in a room alone - then you can temporarily turn on the night light, open the door or sleep with him in the room. Such simple care can greatly facilitate the adaptation of the child.
Waiting for the return love of a foster child
Parents can take the initiative in their affection, care, expression of love and warmth, but not wait for a response from the child. It is quite normal that it will not appear immediately. The manifestation of your feelings must also be monitored - for example, if hugs are unpleasant for a child, you can simply take his hand first.
Memories of a Child
The child may yearn for his past. If he does not remember it, he can invent fictitious facts. It is important for a child to have an idea about his past, and some children from the orphanage have absolutely no information other than the name of the parent and place of residence. It appears as if there is a gap, an empty space. And this is bad for the formation of the psyche of the child.
It is for this purpose that the foster family can create collages, pictures and even fictitious photo albums, which will contain everything that in one way or another concerned the life of the child. Pictures of his city, pictures of what his parents might have looked like. And in this story of his life there will be the moment of his appearance in a new family and photographs of his growing up.