ABOUT OUR CAMPAIGN
In 2018, Black Children were over 1.6 times more represented in the foster care system than in the general population. In states like New York, black youth alone make up nearly 57% of the foster care population. (NY Daily)
In the foster care system, teens especially lack the emotional support from a family that encourages them to do well in school, obtain a job, and work towards long term goals. These factors, when combined with disadvantages faced by people of color like greater incarceration rates, as well as lower graduation and hiring rates, place both Black and Native American foster children at great risk of poverty. As a result, most teens “age out” of the system without having the proper support to build and maintain healthy relationships and habits.
Once a child ages out of the system, the National Foster Youth Institute (NYFI) shares that there's a 20% chance they'll instantly become homeless. With over 23,000 children aging out of foster care annually, the chance of aged-out children getting a college degree is less than 3%.
Yet the NYFI shares that 70% of foster kids say they'd like to attend college.
These children have hopes and dreams that are unique to them. They are worthy of pursuing them, just like you are, but share many more barriers that prevent them from seeing their aspirations come to fruition. Imagine seeing other children your age having parents cheer them on at soccer games and dance recitals, while at your home, your parents expose you to drugs every day. Imagine being removed from your biological home, because your parents may have abused you physically, emotionally, and sexually, only to be moved from home to home in foster care, often experiencing the same trauma you were meant to escape. Imagine developing attachment difficulties because the very idea of family is so foreign to your world. And if you were lucky enough to even find a family, you can't help but wonder if today's the last day you can call them home.
These brutal realities are just a crumb of the cake- countless disparities exist within the child welfare system that not only perpetuates but promotes socioeconomic inequality. Socio-economic status is utilized as the strongest predictor of maltreatment rates by CPS, which disproportionately targets marginalized communities. These are groups with the highest poverty rates in the nation, and the definition of neglect in most states is the lack of adequate food, clothing, and shelter. This approach often replaces a lack of materialistic things with the emotional trauma many experience after coming into contact with the foster system and being separated from their family. An investigation of the Michigan child welfare system found that families were granted limited access to court-appointed advocates, required agency services, and a lack of measures that ensure equal treatment across racial/ethnic identities (Center for the Study of Social Policy). Regardless of race or ethnicity, the implementation of preventative measures can decrease the number of children entering the foster system.
Foster care reform itself is such an under-represented issue and the lack of awareness around the racial injustice continues to reside in the child welfare system is more prevalent than ever. We need real, structural change now and it's important to hold our system accountable for their actions. The Nurture Foundation is committed to combatting racism in the foster care system by fundraising for Children's Rights, a nonprofit that for years has been advocating for equity in the foster care system via legal action. They are the only organization in the United States dedicated solely to turning dangerous child welfare systems into safe havens for kids in need. Below is an excerpt from their website regarding foster care reform:
We team up with local child advocates to thoroughly investigate damaging systems. We expose pervasive failures, help develop long-term solutions, and negotiate court-enforceable plans that ultimately transform the way child welfare agencies treat kids. And we complement our legal efforts with research and policy advocacy at the state and national levels to improve the public policy guiding child welfare systems.
Children’s Rights is steadfast in our mission to compel real and sustainable change. Once reform strategies are in place, we hold governments accountable by monitoring progress – and taking action as needed – for as long as it takes to ensure kids have the support and care they deserve. As a result, kids are safer. They get the education and health care they need. They have better foster homes. And best of all, children find permanent, loving families more quickly.
By donating to our fundraiser, you are instantly making a positive impact on the lives of foster children. With your donation, the world is not only a step closer to bringing more families together, but you have made the world a brighter place. From the bottom of our hearts, we are so grateful to have you support our campaign and help make the dreams of children of all ages more attainable. Thank you so much!
Visit this link to learn more:
The Nurture Foundation is a youth-run community organization committed to advancing the welfare of women, children, and families living in impoverished communities. It is our mission to ensure that quality healthcare is accessible to all people of all backgrounds. You can learn more about our foundation & what we stand for by clicking the website below:
Does The Nurture Foundation receive any profit from this fundraiser?
No, we do not. We are a community organization, not a nonprofit, so we raise awareness on issues important to us and fundraise for nonprofits we believe serve in the best interests of their community. All funds from this fundraiser directly go towards Children's Rights; nothing comes to us.
How do we know the money we donate will go towards Children's Rights?
When you look below the donate button, you'll see that The Nurture Foundation is the organizer of this fundraiser, but Gofundme marks Children's Rights as the benefiting charity, which means all funds will immediately be received by them. In addition to this, you are able to see and monitor our fundraiser's progress at your leisure.
Where can I learn more about Children's Rights?
It's awesome that you want to learn more about foster care reform! We personally recommend visiting the link below so that you can see an example of how Children's Rights has directly advocated for targeted efforts to reduce racial disparities.
How else can I help?
Even without donations, there are other ways you can help in this time of crisis. Here are a few:
1) The NYFI shares that a bipartisan bill has been introduced in Congress to provide emergency support for foster youth and child welfare services during the coronavirus pandemic. Help educate your Member of Congress and Senators about the Supporting Foster Youth and Families Through the Pandemic Act. This act, introduced by Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-IL) and Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) provides additional support during the coronavirus pandemic for older foster youth, kinship families, home visiting for at-risk pregnant and parenting families, foster care prevention services, and other child welfare services!
Click the link below, scroll to the final page (3rd page), and use the email template to send letters to YOUR local congress member and senator to URGE them to support the Supporting Foster Youth and Families Through the Pandemic Act.
2) Sign the below petition to show additional support for the Supporting Foster Youth and Families Through the Pandemic Act:
3) Learn about white privilege in the child welfare system by reading the below article by Dr. Sharon L. McDaniel.
Sankaran, Vivek. “With Child Welfare, Racism Is Hiding in The Discretion.” The Imprint
21 June 2020, imprintnews.org/child-welfare-2/with-child-welfare-racism-is-hiding-in-the-discretion/44616.
Gupta-Kagan, Josh. “America’s Hidden Foster Care System.” Stanford Law Review, vol. 72, no. 4, Apr. 2020, pp. 841–913. EBSCOhost
Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2016). Racial disproportionality and disparity in child welfare. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau.
Center for the Study of Social Policy. (2009). Race equity review: Findings from a quantitative analysis of racial disproportionality and disparity for African American children and families in Michigan’s child welfare system. Retrieved from http://www.cssp.org/publications/child-welfare/institutional-analysis/race-equity-review-findings-from-a-qualitative-analysis-of-racial-disproportionality-and-disparity-for-african-american-children-and-families-in-michigans-child-welfare- system.pdf