A friend shared this post (HT: Rob Martin) from the Mennonite World Review that I couldn’t wait to post. (I have ideas for a new series coming next week.) Here is a snippet from the post that caught my attention:
Did you know that every year 15,000 children age out of the foster care system in the United States?
- 98 percent of those will not earn a bachelor’s degree.
- 51 percent will be unemployed.
- 30 percent will not have health insurance, even though they qualify for Medicaid (they apparently won’t know that).
- Up to one in five will commit suicide in the first year after aging out.
- One in four will experience homelessness in the first year.
- 84 percent will become parents in the first year after exiting the foster system (and the cycle will continue).
- 60 percent of the young women will become prostitutes.
- 70 percent of the young men will become “hardened” criminals.
- 70 percent of the victims of human trafficking in the U.S. were foster kids.
(All stats taken from this site.)
These are simple statistics, but they tell a story about who has privilege, who has power, and who doesn’t have anything.
The author shared that he was challenging the Christian world to do something about this. I’m proud to be a part of the solution, through our adoption of two children from foster care. I’ve also experienced a student who “aged out” of the system and was pursuing her undergrad degree (in social work!) here at Messiah College. Even more, I’m proud of the large number of friends we know involved in adoption, but also in fighting human trafficking and working in the foster/adoption world.
If you are interested in ways that you can help, you can support our friends the Kings as they work toward their third adoption, check out the purses for sale at ChangePurse.org (all proceeds go to fight human trafficking), or donate to Bethany Christian Services, an agency who works with adoptions and through whom we have received the blessing of continued support services since our adoptions. Or, you could take the bold step of contacting your local adoption agencies and explore what role God might have for you in ministering to kids trapped in the foster care system.
(Note: nothing against international adoption, that just isn’t the focus of this post.)