Let me start this by throwing some sobering statistics at you.
There are nearly 10,000 children in foster care in the State of Washington right now and a shortage of foster homes to care for them appropriately. Approximately 2,000 more foster homes are needed so that all kids in foster care have somewhere safe to call home.
Now for a visual of just how big this number is.
Picture this – your average school bus can hold 64 children. The State of Washington would need 157 school buses just to hold all of the state’s foster children! That would be 157 school buses lined up on Main Street, starting at C Street all the way down to the Green River!
Kids who have been removed from their homes often sit in the offices of social workers who desperately scramble to find suitable places for them to go. Washington is wasting valuable resources paying for hotels, security guards and social worker overtime just to house kids for even one night.
Kids are being placed miles and miles from the communities they lived in. There are kids in Auburn schools right now who are traveling from as far as Everett just to get to school each day from their foster homes. When communities have a shortage of foster homes, the results are unsuitable placements, frequent moves and more trauma for kids and families. When kids can stay in or near their home communities, everyone does better, not just the foster kids.
The YMCA of Greater Seattle is stepping up to address the foster home shortage within our community and is looking for the city of Auburn’s help. Over the next 3 years, they will be recruiting and supporting 175 new foster homes and growing the YMCA Community of Fostering in collaboration with their local branches to support foster children and families.
Kids need homes in South King and Pierce County and the YMCA is committed to making a difference. Outcomes for foster children significantly improve when they live within a stable and supportive community, and the odds of future homelessness and involvement with juvenile justice and other public care systems decrease.
Are you ready Auburn?
If you are interested in learning more about how you can help, the YMCA is offering a foster parent info session at the Auburn Valley YMCA this Saturday, February 17, 2018 (children are welcome to attend). If you have room in your heart and your home, consider learning more about how you can help create a stable life for a foster child!
Saturday, February 17, 2018 from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Auburn Valley YMCA
1620 Perimeter Rd
Auburn, WA 98001
Ph. (253) 833-2770