Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Current State of Foster Care in the U.S. Infographic

Today I am sharing an infographic compiled by Pearson Education and the University of New England which explores the current state of foster care in the U.S. by comparing statistics from 2013 to statistics from 2007 and earlier.

This infographic addresses three specific problems/misconceptions which Americans have about foster care or foster care adoption, namely:

1) A Favorable Opinion of Adopting from Foster Care
2) Perceptions about Children in Foster Care, and
3) Perceptions about Expense of Adopting from Foster Care

I have to admit that I laughed when I saw the illustration and explanation for Problem #2 because I had some of those same concerns when I first considered fostering as I would imagine the worst case scenario of behaviors for any potential foster placements coming into our home.

Here's what I appreciated most about this infographic- Not only did it explore some of the reasons Americans might shy away from foster care but it also presented some proposed SOLUTIONS to combat these misconceptions as well, with social workers working on the front lines as advocates for foster adoption.

One solution to increasing favorable opinions of foster care adoption which I was rather fond of was "encouraging adopting families to openly discuss their experiences with friends, family and neighbors." I believe that foster families can be the most effective advocates for foster adoption and can be a great resource and support network for others who are considering fostering or adopting. 

One other fact the infographic presented which stood out to me was this:

I've been thinking a lot about I.Q. versus E.Q lately and I have had to remind myself that even if all of my children don't end up as doctors or lawyers or even with a college degree at all, the most important thing they can learn in this life is how to love.  With that in mind, here's something related which I came across recently and which rang true to me:

And, of course, the term "prewired" made me think of Dr. Karyn Purvis, Dr. Bruce Perry, and Dr. Dan Siegel and their work with brain development, trauma and attachment.

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