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Foster Care (6)

OAKLAND, Calif.--It is an open secret among children in the foster care system: Once you reach your teens, your chances of adoption drop abysmally. In fact, of the more than 400,000 kids in foster care in America, approximately 25 percent are over the age of 12.

But what happens to those who grow up and “age out?”

There are all kinds of families in this world. Some children live with both of their parents, while some live with one and visit the other. Some children might live with their grandparents, and some stay with a foster family. There are foster programs in the United States, to provide kids with a safe and caring home, when they don’t already have one.

There are approximately 175,000 youth ages 10–18 in foster care in the United States. Of these youth, an estimated 5–10 percent—and likely more—are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ). Like all young people, LGBTQ youth in foster care need the support of a nurturing family to help them negotiate adolescence and grow into healthy adults. However, LGBTQ youth in foster care face additional challenges.

Foster care is a vital and necessary part of the world we live in. To be an effective and ideal substitute parent, one must possess a multitude of strengths and skills.

Have you been considering becoming a foster care parent? If so, there is an ideal picture of what the successful substitute parent looks like.

Entering into the world of foster care is a big step for any person. The more information you have and the more you prepare, the better the experience will be for you and the child you are taking into your home.

If you would like to do something helpful for others, you may be thinking about foster care. This involves letting a child stay at your home so that he or she can be taken from a bad situation, whether the parents do drugs or are abusive. You should remember that this arrangement is not permanent like adoption, but your family will likely be permanently changed, often in a good way. There are a few things you should consider before this type of commitment.

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