We introduced you to Let it be Us earlier this year. Let it Be Us is a Barrington-based organization that advocates for children in the Illinois foster care system by raising awareness of foster care adoption, providing support and resources for children in the foster care system, and featuring the stories of children waiting for adoption in The Heart Gallery.
Today, they are sharing Six Foster Care Adoption Facts and Six Ways to Help Foster Care Children in Illinois. For more information on Foster Care Adoption and Let it Be us please see their website.
6 Foster Care Adoption Facts
- Foster children span all ages. The average age of a child in foster care available for adoption is eight years old.
- Foster children are not “damaged;” rather they are resilient, and most importantly, they are still kids. Some have minor special needs and some have serious special needs. Who’s in or out of special needs is a gray area. It’s true, these kids have been through the wringer. But it’s important to know your facts; special needs applies to a lot of different needs.
- Adoption from foster care is not expensive–in fact, it’s FREE! There are no legal fees. In addition, a child adopted from foster care is able to keep any stipend or special service until the time at which he or she would have left foster care at the age of 18 or 21.
- You can be a property renter and still adopt. Adoption from foster care does not require the parent to own their home. An adoptive parent justs need to provide a safe and loving environment.
- You can be Single! All you need to be is a loving, able and willing parent.
- It can happen faster than an agency-based or foreign adoption. There are many variables involved in the timeline of adoption from foster care. If the child is legally available for adoption, however, you do need to be that child’s foster parent(s) for six months before the adoption may be finalized.
6 Ways to Support a Child in Foster Care
- Tell people who are looking to adopt about Let it Be Us and foster to adoption.
Everyone knows about traditional domestic and foreign agency adoptions, of which there are 27,000 in the United States per year. Few people know about adoption from foster care. In our country, there are 100,000 children available — 3,300 of which are in Illinois.
- Give them extra help.
If a child grows up in foster care, he or she may often attend up to 20 different schools during their childhood. As a teacher, if you have one of these children in your classroom, know that they need extra and tender care. As a parent, if you have a foster child in your sphere, offer to help out any way that you can, whether it’s with tutoring or anything you notice that they need – new clothes, a calculator, and most importantly, kindness and consistency.
- Share on Social Media.
“Like” and “Follow”the humanitarian efforts of Let it Be Us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. When you see Let it Be Us posts, please “like” and “comment” and “share” to push their work further into the world and you will help these children and their mission more than you know.
- Attend Events!
Whether it’s the 5K run in the spring, the golf outing in the fall, or the New Year’s Ball, attending Let it Be Us events shows that you care, and it shows others that you care.
- Adopt or foster!
54% of the children who enter foster care in Illinois never return home. While some of these children will never be available for adoption, they need foster parents who will see them through their childhoods and be active and awesome parents to them for a long, long time, most likely their whole lives. These children simply need parents who will stand by their sides and love them.
Let it Be Us offers an Educational Mentorship program where participants are trained and paired with a child who needs help with educational goals on a consistent basis. This is an opportunity to have a relationship with a child in foster care and have a direct impact on his or her life.
Let it be Us is our current charity partner as part of our Little Lake County Gives Back program, a community outreach effort to connect not-for-profit organizations with our readers. For more information on the program, please contact Melissa at [email protected].