Over 23,000 children in the United States age out of foster care when they turn 18 with no stable foster or adoptive family (National Foster Youth Institute). Without parent and family support many of these teens face an uncertain future.
Each year, The Villages of Indiana receives nearly 240 referrals for teens in need of a home. Last year, The Villages’ team served 115 teens in foster care ages 13 to 19. “The reality is we often do not have enough trained foster parents to help every child referred by the Department of Child Services (DCS),” says The Villages Vice President of Program Administration, Brenda Chapin. “Dedicated foster parents who have a support system with family, friends and neighbors are essential to helping these teens find a sense of permanency and a stable future.”
Ten years ago, Erin was referred to The Villages by DCS. At the time she was described as extremely “parentified,” meaning she acted as the parent for her little sister. The Villages found a foster home match with a foster mom that understood how Erin needed the structure and safety to “allow” her to be a kid. She thrived.
Now 18, Erin just graduated from high school with honors and has applied to four area universities. She is on track to becoming a successful adult and now she simply enjoys being a big sister.
Read below how you can help join our village and become a champion for teens in foster care.