November kicks off National Adoption Month; a month dedicated to raising awareness for children and youth in foster care who are seeking their forever families. Since 1995, the Children’s Bureau, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has been developing ways to best serve youth in foster care.
This year’s tagline for the month-long campaign is “Teens Need Families, No Matter What,” highlighting the number of older youth in foster care and how to support their futures. Oftentimes, individuals age out of care on their 21st birthdays searching for transitional services. Every year, more than 100,000 children and youth in the U.S. foster care system seek permanent families; more than 20,000 of them will age out of care, putting them at greater risk of homelessness, underemployment, and health challenges throughout their lives. Today in Maryland, there are roughly 4,700 children and youth in the foster care system who are in need of help.
At CASA, we train and supervise community volunteers who give voice to children in Maryland’s foster care system. Our dedicated volunteers endlessly advocate for permanent homes and ensure these children and youth do not fall through the cracks of an overburdened system. With a CASA Advocate on a case, these at-risk children and youth are half as likely to re-enter the foster care system, and find safe, permanent homes, oftentimes months sooner than children without a CASA volunteer.
There are many ways you can give back in honor of National Adoption Month. Consider becoming an Advocate and help more of Maryland’s children find their forever home. Unable to volunteer? Consider donating or helping us spread the word by sharing our posts on Facebook and Twitter!
Want to learn more?
- Visit the National Adoption Month website. It offers information and resources to help raise awareness and build supportive relationships for older youth.
- Read AdoptUSKids’ FAQ about the benefits of adopting teens and the resources available to families.
- Read a few adoption stories —featuring families who adopted teens and young people who were adopted when they were older.