Why Children Need Families

The Facts

Children Need Families to Succeed.

Scientists agree that when a child grows up without a parent’s nurturing, their physical, emotional and cognitive development are significantly impaired.

Tragically, trauma caused by abuse, violence and neglect compounds these problems rendering children who have grown up without nurturing from a committed parent or parents greatly challenged to succeed. Additionally, the US foster care system allows children and young adults to be moved from home to home.  These moves slowly erode a chlids trust in adults and disillusion them.  Children cope in a variety of ways.  Many or their actions have negative or detrimental results.  

The Risks

Too many kids in the United States are growing up in foster care, without permanent parents.

Without a committed relationship with an adult they are at great risk to crime and homelessness, lack of education, underemployment, and teen pregnancy. They lack the skills to build strong relationships and have their own healthy families.

Each year, 26,000 youth emancipate from foster care  without the family support, education and community relationships that help them make successful transitions to adulthood. These young people experience very poor outcomes at a much higher rate than the general population.

  • More than one in five will become homeless after age 18
  • Only 58 percent will graduate high school by age 19 (compared to 87 percent of all 19 year olds)
  • 71 percent of young women are pregnant by 21, facing higher rates of unemployment, criminal conviction, public assistance, and involvement in the child welfare system
  • At the age of 24, only half are employed
  • Fewer than 3 percent will earn a college degree by age 25 (compared to 28 percent of all 25 year olds
  • One in four will be involved in the justice system within two years of leaving the foster care system

Statistical References

A Piece of the Solution

Families…through hosting.

While no silver bullet exists to avoid all of these problems, or to place every child, many good programs exist which, when working in concert, can move children into families. Diligent recruitment involves a search through the case file and conversations with children in the child’s life who can serve as adoptive parents.  Wendy’s Wonderful Kids packages all this together.  Video promotion creates interest in a specific child when new prospects are needed, and generates inquiries, as evidenced by Wednesday’s Child.  The Heart Gallery displays a group of children’s photos out in the community, where people can “see” the kids who would otherwise be invisible.  Kidsave’s Family Visit Model is an additional tool in this selection of effective practices as it promotes specific kids individually, removes the veil of secrecy placed on foster children and enables them to actually meet people in the community.  The engage with adults who serve as weekend hosts, mentors, champions for the child and often adoptive parents.

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”

~Nelson Mandela

Kidsave’s Family Visit Model is a TOOL that governments, churches and other advocates can use to supplement their efforts finding a child a permanent connection – whether that be an adoptive family, a legal guardianship or a committed mentor. The Model supports social workers and volunteers to help increase the number of families interested in children/older older youth that are traditionally harder to place.

The Model enables community outreach and visits with volunteer host families on weekends and during school vacations which build trust and begin to set the wheels in motion to find a young person a permanent family.

The Kidsave Model

Learn how you can implement the Kidsave Family Visit Model in your agency or organization.

Kidsave events have given my youth opportunities to seek supports within the community. The Kidsave hosts who have connected with my teens have provided support to teens who feel they have very little.

Fawnda Sandoval, Child Social Worker III

Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services Adoption and Permanency Resource Division

Kidsave Weekend Miracles brings in a whole group of adults who weren’t ready to foster or adopt but want to make a difference in a child’s lives…
There are a slew of families interested in making a difference.

Sari Grant

Los Angeles County Recruitment Administrator

Eight years into hosting I can truly say Tawanesha is my family. The Kidsave experience has changed both of our lives for the better. Watching Tawanesha persevere through obstacles has been the most fulfilling experience ever.

Jesseca Ryan

Kidsave Host

Phone: 310-642-7283
Fax: 310-641-7283
100 Corporate Pointe Suite 380
Culver City, CA 90230