(NAPSI)—When a child or youth is placed into foster care, their safety and well-being become the shared responsibility of the community. Organizations such as the nonprofit Treehouse are an important part of the solution. Staff and volunteers work to provide childhood experiences everyone deserves, connection to resources and a successful launch into adulthood.
With close to half a million youth in care throughout the country, numerous challenges remain. Here are five things to know so you can take action.
1. PTSD for Youth
There is emotional trauma in both being removed from home and the uncertainty that follows. PTSD for youth who have experienced foster care is twice the rate of war veterans.
2. School Challenges
Students in foster care change housing placements an average of three times, and with each move, they lose about six months of academic progress. High school graduation rates for youth in care are about 50 percent nationwide, and less than 3 percent earn a bachelor’s degree.
3. Racial Disparities
Children of color are far more likely to enter the foster care system than their white peers. They are more likely to be removed from their home, stay in care longer and are less likely to return home.
4. After Foster Care
Across the country, close to 26,000 young adults exit foster care each year. Nearly all lack the community network necessary for a supported launch into adulthood. More than a third will experience homelessness at some point by age 26.
5. Partners in Hope
Treehouse’s Graduation Success program is dramatically increasing high school graduation rates—with 77 percent of participants completing school. Through a number of programs, youth partner with Treehouse from birth to well into their 20s.
Visit www.treehouseforkids.org to learn more or make a donation. Your donation supports Treehouse programs from Graduation Success to Holiday Magic, which provides thousands of kids a meaningful holiday gift. You can even honor someone you know who has been impacted by foster care.
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