Last year, there were 283,922 cases of alleged child abuse in Texas. Each Child Protective Services investigator in the state of Texas on average handles 36 cases of abuse and neglect every month. The Child Welfare League of America recommends only 12-15 cases per investigator per month. Unfortunately, each year the number of neglected and/or abused children who find themselves in foster care grows dramatically. Every new case brings more children who have been abused or neglected and are in desperate need of assistance.
There are currently 5,056 children in substitute foster care in Central Texas. Of these, over 600 are legally free and waiting to be adopted.
Foster children are more likely to fail in life because of circumstances beyond their control.These circumstances can weaken social attachments and the values they promote. They can destroy self-esteem and undermine feelings of competence. A report published by Prevent Child Abuse America found that abused and neglected children are 53 percent more likely to be arrested as juveniles and 38 percent more likely to be arrested as adults. Many foster children do not have a network of caring adults that give them encouragement when they are uncertain or a loving hand as they face life’s challenges. As a result, the outlook for many of these children is bleak. Studies show that:
- 25% of foster children will have experienced homelessness at least once
- 46% will still lack a high school diploma four years after leaving care
- More than 1/3 suffer emotional disturbances and the behavioral problems that often accompany them
- Fewer than 1 in 5 will be completely self-supporting four years after leaving the child welfare system
There are three distinct sets of foster children:
- Foster children that have not officially been relocated into foster care, but are under review to be in more permanent care.
- Foster children who are living with foster families, in shelters, or in residential treatment centers; over a child’s lifetime this could consist of many different placements or families.
- Foster children that are leaving foster care with no support as they enter college or the workplace.
The objective of the Foster Angels is to help each of these groups in their own special way.