Today we are going to focus on praying for children and families impacted by the foster care system.
At any given time there are between 400,000 and 500,000 kids in the foster care system in the United States. About a quarter of these children are with relatives and about half of them are placed in the homes of strangers ("foster parents").
When a child turns 18 (or 21 in some states), they "age out" of the system and become independent adults. They rarely have any support network and often no home to return to for the holidays.
Statistically, few things correlate with poor outcomes later in life more than being placed in the foster care system. Of those children that age out, somewhere around 50% will be homeless at some point in the first year. About 70% of all women who are sex-trafficked were in the foster system at some point. Less than half will ever attend any post-secondary education and only 4% will graduate college. About 60% of girls who age out of foster care will be pregnant by 19 and will have their second child by 21.
The ultimate goal is NOT to serve children in foster care. We long to see hurting families find hope and healing, so that a child never needs to be removed from their biological parents and siblings. We want to serve hurting communities, to help them support one another so that children grow up nurtured, encouraged, and hopeful.
Today, would you please pray...
- for children in the system. Pray that they would be safe. Pray that they would feel loved. Pray that the pain they are facing would set the stage for God to do something incredible in their hearts and in their lives, even if it's not obvious now.
- for vulnerable birth families. Pray that people would step up to walk alongside them and that they would find healing in their hurts. Pray that God would intervene in the hearts of parents who are at risk of having their children removed from their home.
- for biological families to understand and desire to do what is necessary to see their children returned to their home.
- for youth aging out of foster care. Pray that they would find long-lasting, meaningful relationships that can speak into their lives and provide a safety net.
- for agency workers as they face the realities of their work. Pray that the daily grind of removing children and seeing abuse and neglect wouldn't break them or burn them out -- but instead it would draw them to the only source of true hope: Christ.
- for foster families who make sacrifices to welcome these hurting children. Pray that they would advocate well for the needs of these children. Pray that they would have the strength to develop strong, healthy attachments so these children know love, even if it will hurt.
Speaking as a foster dad myself, thank you for praying. Thank you for praying for all the ministries we partner with. I pray that their impact is so huge that we can dissolve the foster care system because kids have a healthy network to rally around them when a crisis hits.
If you'd like to learn more about adoption or foster care, you can check out the adoption page on the Northridge website.