A growing number of children in North Carolina need a permanent home, according to new numbers released from the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina. “Our focus right now is to reverse those trends. We really believe that one child without a permanent family is one too many,” said Matt Anderson, senior director of advocacy and development for CHS, which is the largest private adoption agency in the state.
The society cites data from the Jordan Institute for Families at UNC-Chapel Hill, which finds that more than 10,300 children are in foster care. That’s an almost 25 percent increase from a five-year low in 2011.
“These are trends that are moving in the wrong direction, obviously,” Anderson said. The numbers also show children are staying in foster care about 15 percent longer now.
More than 500 foster children age out of the foster care system without finding a permanent home every year, according to the statistics.
That often leads to a higher chance of homelessness, unemployment, and incarceration, Anderson said.
“All children need a safe, permanent and loving family both now, as they’re growing up, but into adulthood, children do best when they grow up in the context of a family. And, right now far too many children are not having that opportunity and when children age out of foster care, without a family, their opportunities and outcomes are not very good.”
The Children’s Home Society of North Carolina is based in Greensboro and serves 20,000 children and families in all 100 counties with adoption, foster care, family preservation and teen pregnancy prevention services.
The organization said last year 2,500 children were referred to CHS because they needed a family. The organization’s leaders said they could help only 694 due to financial constraints.
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