Fostering Brighter Futures
By Megan Bryant
Photos by Maike Munden and Submitted
At any given time, nationwide, there are over 100,000 children and youth within the foster system waiting for a safe place to call home. These kids are displaced for a myriad of reasons when trauma, neglect, and other health or safety challenges appear in countless forms. In fact, tens of thousands of these children are removed from their homes after extreme abuse.
Not exactly the typical light-hearted or whimsical info you are used to reading in this magazine, right? Well, sometimes it’s tough to face facts that are so bothersome, however, there is good news. We have amazing people right here in our community working relentlessly to be a part of the solution, and to find homes for as many of these young people as possible before they age out of the foster system.
Oh, by the way. That’s a huge concern for us, not only for the well-being of these individuals, but for our society. Stable home and family dynamics for these youth help to reduce the likelihood of committing crimes, and devastating abusive cycles being perpetuated.
Each year, more than 23,000 children will age out of the foster system, and an estimated 20% of them will become instantly homeless. Only 50% of these youth will secure gainful employment by age 24. And, only 3% of them will have an opportunity to attend college. Of the females, approximately 7 out of 10 will become pregnant by age 21.
November is National Adoption Month. National Adoption Month was proclaimed to be a month of adoption awareness in 1995 and each year continues to select themes related to adoption. Organizations across the nation celebrate and bring awareness to adoption each year and the need for families to adopt children from the foster-care system.
Fostering, perhaps more than any other area of adoption, has a special sense of urgency to give the best shot for children in the system to find healing and stability with a foster family, and, hopefully overcome their past to break the cycles of abuse and neglect. Clearly, the impact on each individual who is placed into a permanent family is immeasurable. Just take a look at these photos. This sweet family, including sibling groups, were adopted out of the foster program. Nehemiah, pictured here individually, is currently undergoing specialized training programs to further the advocacy for foster programs and become an active resource for other foster children and families who are looking to become foster parents. He was also adopted from the foster system.
A New Beginning Adoption Agency is Idaho’s private, non-profit, full-service, licensed agency who helps find permanent families for older children in the Foster-Care system from across the nation.
A New Beginning also provides adoption services to families who wish to adopt infants locally and internationally as well as provide adoption services such as home studies, post placement supervision, training programs (including important trauma resources,) specialized counseling services, support groups and free birth parent services to those who wish to make an adoption plan for their baby.
Established in Boise in October 2004 by adoptive parents, A New Beginning has assisted in the placement of over 500 children and are setting the bar in social work high by caring for all sides of the adoption triads every step of the way. Find out how you can get involved at www.AdoptANewBeginning.org