New Foster Care Transition Toolkit Offers Tips for Helping Foster Youth Succeed as Adults

The U.S. Department of Education today released a new toolkit to inspire and support current and former foster youth pursuing college and career opportunities. The Foster Care Transition Toolkit includes tips and resources intended to help foster youth access and navigate social, emotional, educational and skills barriers as they transition into adulthood. Currently, there are over 400,000 children and youth in America’s foster care system and every year, more than 23,000 youth age out of the system, Read More

Foster Care Alum: Educators Make a Difference for Foster Youth

Throughout my childhood, school was an oasis from my chaotic home life.  I reveled in learning new concepts and thrived off of the validation my teachers offered me. The classroom was the only place where I received consistent affirmation and felt safe.  When I became a foster child at the age of fifteen, my education became one of my primary concerns. I was afraid that my education would be affected, and my fears were soon Read More

U.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance to Improve Educational Outcomes of Children and Youth in Foster Care

Today the U.S. Department of Education is releasing resources to emphasize and support the needs of foster care students. In addition to new guidance, ED has launched a dedicated web page, Students in Foster Care, and issued a joint letter with the U.S. Department of Health Human Services to education authorities about increasing educational stability for children and youth in foster care. The guidance released today will make it easier for caseworkers, child welfare agencies and tribal Read More

Foster care kids need help as they age out of system

Setting up a new apartment and living independently is challenging for a new graduate with a new job, but if you’re one of the roughly 113 children a month aging out of the foster care system in Southwest Florida the challenge can be even more daunting. The Children’s Network of Southwest Florida provides independent living training each month for 100 to 125 people turning 18 and preparing to leave the foster care system, according to Read More

City Seeking to Diversify Foster System

New York City is launching a campaign to recruit gay and lesbian foster parents, part of a major push to expand the kinds of families who consider fostering and to find more welcoming homes for children who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer. The public ad campaign, set to roll out this week, features images of an interracial gay couple spending time with a young child. “Be the reason she has hope,” one Read More

Foster Care a Sound Choice for Some Maltreated Children

Newspaper articles, TV shows and books are filled with horror stories of children placed in foster care. A new study bucks that trend by showing out-of-home placements can improve the emotional health of some youths who have been maltreated by a parent. The study, led by Ann-Marie Conn, PhD, general pediatric academic fellow at University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, will be presented Monday, May 6, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual Read More

DNA testing for adoptive children

The Red Thread welcomes guest writer Chris Baer.  An adoptive father curious about his son’s medical history and heritage, Baer sought out DNA testing. Here, he writes about why he did it and why he believes all adoptive parents should have their children tested. He also shares some of the major discoveries he made along the way. Growing up as the youngest of the Baer family clan, I knew what to expect in becoming a Read More

Helping Foster Kids Even After Adoption

Say "adoption" and many Americans think "babies." The U.S. system was largely organized around placing infants, both from this country and abroad. It turns out that, by far, the largest number of adoptions in the U.S. is through the foster care system. That means toddlers, young children, even teens. Yet many in the field say the system does little to help families cope with the special issues a number of these children will face, even Read More

Gay dads, 12 kids officially become family

Steven and Roger Ham, gay men raising 12 children adopted from foster care, were recently named to Esquire magazine’s list of the 10 best dads of 2012. But the two had no idea until it was pointed out to them. They’re a little busy. Steven spent six years at home taking care of the growing family. In January, he went back to work full time now that Olivia, the youngest, is 3 and eager to Read More

Two Harbors foster parents lose license after spanking

A Two Harbors couple’s child foster care license was revoked because the foster mother spanked a foster child in violation of state rules, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Kirk and Beth Schield were issued a license to care for up to four foster children in their home on Dec. 1, 2010. The revocation was announced in a letter to the Schields dated July 6 and was posted on Tuesday on the department’s Read More