May is National Foster Care Month—a time to acknowledge the foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections. It is also a time to focus on ways to create a bright future for the more than 428,000 children and youth in foster care.
• Nationally, 50% of the homeless population spent time in foster care.
• Young women in foster care are more than 2x as likely as their peers (not in foster care) to become pregnant by age 19.
• Only about 50% of those who age out of care will obtain a high school diploma.
• 97% of children in foster care will not graduate from college, despite the fact that as wards of the state, they receive a full-ride to any state school of their choice.
Austin Angels wraps community around children in foster care and their caretakers by offering consistent support through intentional giving, relationship-building, and mentorship. The non-profit organization accomplishes this through its Love Box program, which matches dedicated volunteers with foster families. Volunteers meet practical, everyday needs while building intentional relationships with the family they serve each month. When foster families are matched with committed volunteers, parents feel supported and children gain a sense of belonging and self-confidence.
They have found that children who take part in their Love Box program:
- Are less likely to move. (Did you know that children in care move, on average, 7 times in 2 years?)
- Perform better in school.
- Are beginning to form attachments.
- Have increased self-worth
- Have a life plan when they age out. (They encourage their youth to join a branch of service, enroll in college, or enroll in a trade school upon aging out of the system.)
National Angels currently has chapters in Austin, Amarillo, and Dallas, Texas, Cleveland, Ohio, and Cedar Valley, Iowa (opening this summer). Their long-term vision is to open chapters in every major metropolitan city in the nation, so every single child in the foster care system in the United States will be supported by a Love Box group and empowered to succeed.
As a non-profit, Austin Angels relies heavily on donations from the community to continue the work that is changing children's lives. Your support allows them to change the way children, teens, and young adults experience and successfully age out of the foster care system.