I am more than [fill in the blank]. We can all finish this sentence. We are all more than words on paper, labels or statistics. Foster children are no exception. Our latest campaign, I Am More Than, seeks to dispel the myths and misconceptions about children in foster care. Foster youth are real people, with real strengths and goals. They are resilient. They are extraordinary. They may have been through more than most kids their age but they are still just children. They are healing, with their own hopes and dreams for the future.
Each year, 3.3 million children are victims of abuse. But the traumas they’ve experienced don’t define them – who they are or who they can become. Foster kids simply need guidance and support, from loving foster parents who truly care. This is where you come in! Our therapeutic foster care services (sometimes referred to as treatment foster care) focus on addressing trauma healing, parental skills building, school success and coping skills. You don’t have to be married, college-educated or own your own home to foster a child in need. SAFY welcomes all prospective families regardless of gender, sexual orientation, gender identification or gender expression. In fact, SAFY foster parents are:
- Married, single, divorced, widowed and unmarried co-parents
- Employed, stay-at-home and retired parents
- Homeowners and renters
- As young as 21 years of age and senior citizens
- Experienced and new parents
- Have biological or adopted children
- Empty nesters
- Of all racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds and sexual orientations
Related: Who Can Be a Foster Parent to a Child in Need?
A former foster youth and renowned author and speaker, Josh Shipp, says, “Kids spell trust t-i-m-e.” Foster parenting comes with challenges, just as any form of parenting does. But if you have a desire to serve others, love in your heart and patience, you too can make a difference in a child’s life forever.
There are more foster referrals than families who can foster. The older a child is, the more likely they are to be passed over by potential foster families, due to their age and other factors beyond their control, and the less likely they are to be adopted into a loving home. These children are worth more than their circumstances and can live up to their full potential.
How to spread the word about the need for loving foster parents
One in five youth experience homelessness, and only 50 percent graduate from high school by age 18. SAFY offers therapeutic foster care services to help place youth in need of treatment-level care in a supportive, family environment. We want foster families to thrive and so we focus on permanency, safety and well-being for both foster youth and foster parents. Our goal is to ensure each child’s safety and facilitate their return to their birth family or another permanent option.
You can help spread the word about the need for loving foster parents. Use the hashtag #SAFYIAmMoreThan and follow former foster youth like @joshshipp to show your support for improving the lives of children in the foster care system. We are all more than meets the eye. Together, we can eradicate the challenges foster youth unfairly face. Become a foster parent today.