Family Friendly Cincinnati recently invited John Cummings, manager of adoption & foster care recruitment with the Hamilton County Department of Job and Famiy Services to share with us information about the need for adoptive & foster care parents in Hamilton County.
That’s because every week I see two distressing words next to the names of most of the children on that list:
That stings. My heart sinks. I often ask myself, why is this happening? What holds people back from becoming a “forever family” to a young person?
It’s troubling to know those two words – “no families” – keep appearing for some of these children. Granted, they aren’t perfect. They may also be a little older – in many cases, they are teenagers who have been in care for several years. But they are still children with hopes and dreams – dreams that include parents and siblings who will share in their birthdays, holidays, straight A’s or theatrical plays.
What happens when permanency doesn’t come their way? The statistics aren’t good. According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, about 25 percent of children aging out of foster care – that means not being adopted at some point – will wind up in jail within two years. About 20 percent face being homeless, and less than four percent will end up earning a Bachelor’s degree.
As of January 13, 2010, 63 percent of children waiting to be adopted in Hamilton County are over the age of 10. Statistics show that the chances of children being adopted drop dramatically once they reach the age of 12. The plain and simple truth is our community should step up. There are too many good people in this community for this to be a persistent problem. Sure, it can take some time to foster or adopt a child from our agency. From starting classes to being approved or licensed, the process takes about five months. But it is time well-spent learning how you can help a child adjust, how your efforts can strengthen that child and his or her biological family, and how you may well make your community a better place.
To learn more about becoming a foster or adoptive parent, call us at (513) 632-6366 or visit our web site, www.hckids.org. The information is all there. If by chance something isn’t, call and ask.
Children sure aren’t perfect. No one ever is. But if we come together as a community to foster and/or adopt our children waiting for permanency, we increase their chances for success in life – and our community’s chances for greater success, too.
John Cummings is manager of the Adoption & Foster Care Recruitment unit at Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services (HCJFS). His experience encompasses more than 20 years in broadcast journalism, public relations and communications. John holds a Master of Communication Theory & Methodology degree from Cleveland State University, and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Bowling Green State University.
Just remember that when you have a child placed with you for foster or adoption, some children have attachment issues and will test you on your ability to stick through with them through difficult situations. Consistency is key. Having strong connections with the child’s case worker, therapist (if it applies) and other team members will really help.
Just starting the process to become a foster/adoptive parent through JFS. I’d love to hear any tips, suggestions from anyone who has been through it.
Jeanne - Adoptive Parent and Butler County Recruiter says
Thanks John for letting our community know how they can make a difference in the life of a child AND our community! As a foster and adoptive parent I know first hand the joy and blessings these children can and do bring to your life! As a foster and adoption recruiter I also know the need for good families. I hope many of you will join the ranks of awesome families that we currently have so that the dreams and needs of these awesome kids can be met!
Susan from FFC/Working Moms Against Guilt says
Thank you for posting about this great need in our community. I hope it inspires more people to consider adoption!
.-= Susan from FFC/Working Moms Against Guilt´s last blog ..I’m Taking the Sleep Challenge =-.