One child was just brought into the foster care system. By the time you finish reading this blog, another child will be entering care. In nearly two minutes the life of a child is forever changed due to circumstances beyond their control. At SOS Children’s Villages Illinois, we’re working to change this statistic through creating a new cycle of opportunity.
Data shows there are over 415,000 children in the foster care system in the United States, and more than 260,000 children enter care every year. In general, children in foster care are more likely to have difficulties in school and exhibit behavioral problems. Even more troubling is the fact that children who have been in foster care at any point in their lives are much more likely than the general population to experience outcomes that result in adverse circumstances such as:
- 25% of youth who have been in foster care experience homelessness
- 47% of former foster youth are unemployed
- Only 54% of foster youth graduate from high school
- Up to one-fourth of youth in care will spend time in jail in early adulthood, and some states have reported that up to 70% of their inmates had an experience with foster care in their youth.
Poverty, homelessness, and unemployment are some of the main contributing factors to children being placed in foster care. These circumstances into which children are born often set the course for the rest of their lives.
The SOS Illinois Difference
SOS Illinois offers an innovative alternative to traditional foster care. A priority of the SOS Children’s Villages Illinois mission is to create housing in high-risk communities where many children enter the foster care system but are displaced due to inadequate space and housing availability.
Children who come to live at SOS Children’s Villages Illinois’ homes stay in or close to their communities of origin and live with their biological brothers and sisters in an SOS Illinois single-family home under the care of a professional Foster Parent, surrounded by an intentional community. A dedicated team of Foster and Relief Parents, on-site Child Welfare Specialists, clinical therapists, and a network of staff at each Village, as well as volunteers, ensures that every child who comes into our care grows in a nurturing, stable environment.
With the help of our Village, SOS Illinois provides support, compassion, and strength. In addition, SOS Children’s Villages Illinois works with biological families and strives whenever possible to reunite the children with their biological parents or kinship placements. As a result, 98% of the children in our care attend at least 90% or more school days, SOS Illinois celebrates a 100% high school graduation rate, and 95% of our young adults will find full-time work.
You Can Be a Part of the Difference
By giving two minutes of your time to contribute to SOS Illinois today, you can help us create a new cycle of opportunity for at-risk youth in Illinois.
Dream Makers, our monthly giving club, is an incredibly important part of the SOS Illinois community. With the generous donations of our Dream Makers, SOS Illinois focuses on educational development, health and wellness initiatives, and cultural enrichment. By contributing as little as $5 or $10 a month, you can lend your support to our effort of breaking the cycle of poverty and empowering our young dreamers to believe they can achieve a life that is meaningful and fulfilling while helping our children gain skills that lead to self-sufficiency.
We need your help to make a difference in a child’s life. With your support, we can offer children the opportunity to create a new pathway for themselves. Click Here to learn more about how you can become a Dream Maker and how your donations can assist in creating a brighter future for children in foster care in Illinois.