Being a Foster Child by Ann Hughes, Executive Director of Friends of Foster Children Forever
On any given day there are over 300 foster children in Collier County. These children have been removed from their homes because of their parent’s abuse, neglect, or addiction. They could be placed with a relative, a family friend, in a licensed foster home or a licensed group home. They may not even end up in the same place as their brothers or sisters.
Visualize being taken away from your family. Leaving your home and everything you know even if it’s for the best, even if this will make you safe, especially when you did nothing wrong. Feel the trauma of the experience. This may very well happen again and again before you can go home, if you can ever go home. This is the uncertainty, this is the fear, this is the experience of many foster children.
Now think about going to school during all of this. It very well may be a different school and you may not know a soul. You’re scared and maybe a little embarrassed. You may or may not have anyone in your new living environment you can talk to about it. You probably weren’t doing so well in school before because of everything going on in your life. Even if you were, the trauma of being removed from your home sets you back six months academically. In average you will be moved four to six times and with each move there is another six months decline in school.
As a foster child, your chance of graduating high school is only fifty percent and graduating a two or four year college only three
percent. Think about what the chances are of being a productive and self-sufficient adult. Friends of Foster Children Forever
increases those odds.
Friends of Foster Children helps over 1,300 children a year in foster care. The 501c3 organization’s goal is to connect foster
children between the ages of two months to five years with early education centers and provide children ages five to 23 with
tutoring. They also pay for the foster children’s summer and winter camps and enrichment activities such as dance classes, gymnastics, music lessons and sports programs. Through a variety of strategic programs Friends of Foster Children Forever supports the “whole” child’s wellbeing from birth through college graduation.
“Foster children are some of the most vulnerable children in Collier County”, said Ann Hughes, executive director of Friends of Foster Children Forever. “Because of their parents mistakes they suffer the consequences. It is our duty to make sure these children get on the right path to gain self-esteem and have every opportunity to succeed.”
To learn how to support foster children call 239-262-1808 or visit www.FriendsofFosterChildren.net
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