When you donate to a charity, it’s important to have a good idea of what your money will do. With many charities, it’s obvious where your money goes, but it can be harder to see the impact of your donation when you donate to help children in foster care. Here are a few of the less obvious ways that foster care homes use the donations they receive.
Helping Teens Become Functional Adults
One of the most common criticisms of America’s foster care system is that up to 20,000 teens age out of the system each year, and many of them are left without a solid safety net or strong life skills. Many of these young adults end up facing homelessness, and the social systems we’ve set up for adults can be difficult or impossible to navigate.
One of the main innovations of modern foster systems is a focus on stability in the lives of foster children. At TFI Kids Fund, our Teens Reaching Adult Independent Living (TRAIL) program has locations in Topeka, Wichita, and Kansas City, all of which aim to provide our charges the stability and support they need as they navigate adolescence.
Helping Families Stay Together
About 66% of children in foster care have siblings also in the foster system, and when large families or urgent placements are involved, keeping siblings together can be difficult. Separating siblings can severely damage the children’s mental health, especially when the separation is long-term. At the same time, there are very few foster families equipped to take in four or more children at a time. TFI maintains a facility that can take in up to 24 children at a time, meaning that we’re a welcome option for these larger groups.
Helping Teens Get Psychiatric Help
Mental health problems aren’t unique to foster children, but people who have grown up in foster care are more likely to have experienced trauma and much more likely to experience depression or other mental health diseases. Children who go from foster home to foster home may slip through the cracks and not get the care they need. This is why TFI runs Pathway Family Services, which provides inpatient and residential care for foster children who need it, as well as an emergency shelter for the most urgent cases.