CHILDREN IN CRISIS
Kansas children in foster care are being left behind. In fact, Kansas is only half as effective as expected when it comes to gaining a permanent placement for children within the first 24 months, with only 12.8% being adopted in those first two years. Outcomes are especially harrowing for older youth.
42% of youth who age out of foster care report having had at least one homeless experience by age 21. Only 42% of kids aging out of foster care in KS from July 2022 – April 2023 have completed 12th grade and there is only a 3% chance that they will earn a college degree in their lifetime. 66% are arrested before their 21st birthday.
There is a shocking lack of support for this demographic in Kansas, and for families who are seeking to adopt them. Services are needed to both ensure teens approaching adulthood have the resources and skills needed to thrive, and that families are equipped to care for them, whether through foster care or adoption.
BETTER OUTCOMES ACHIEVED THROUGH BETTER SUPPORT
FosterAdopt Connect is committed to addressing the crisis by mitigating the trauma children and youth experience and supporting the families that care for them with life-saving programs and wraparound services at the Foster and Adoption Community Center in Kansas City, Kansas.
Our renovations to the historical Kansan building will create space for resources to support youth aging out of foster care through our program, Community Connections YouThrive (CCYT), vocational job training, and a 15-bed emergency drop in shelter for youth ages 17-23. Additional focus areas will be support for LGBTQ+ youth and specialized programs related to acute behavioral and mental health needs. Our caring and highly-trained team of advocates will research and identify additional community resources for the youth and families we serve.
On average, only 50% of the children who age out of foster care will be gainfully employed by age 24. Onsite training programs will provide an array of work skills to assist them into sustainable long-term employment. Training opportunities to include, vocational, computer, video production and art.
As kids become too old to stay in the child welfare system, they are often thrust into adulthood with no resources or support. This program connects youth to resources to help give them the skills they need to thrive.
Approximately one in four foster youth will become homeless after aging out of the system. FosterAdopt Connect seeks to provide emergency short-term housing in our 15-bed drop-in center for vulnerable youth ages 17-23 who have nowhere else to go.
The most common struggle for foster parents is a lack of support during difficult times. Kansas provides one of the lowest stipends for foster parents in the US. Sammy’s Window Clothing Closet helps keep kids safe by supplying parents with essential items to meet the basic needs of children.
“The basic need for programs to truly serve kids in foster care and families caring for them has only increased with the addition of the pandemic. Children and youth in Kansas remain at significant risk for poor outcomes. At FosterAdopt Connect, our mission is to change the trajectory for these kids and the impetus behind opening our first Foster and Adoption Community Center in Kansas. We are committed to bringing life-saving resources and wraparound services to the children, families, and communities in Kansas where the need is greatest.”
“Youth who leave the foster care system without a family are more likely to engage in risky behavior and face challenges like homelessness, joblessness, and substance abuse. Our programs will offer a continuum of services to decrease the number of youth leaving the system without a positive adult connection as well as supporting those who do to find stable housing, secure and maintain employment, and have the necessary skills to thrive as healthy adults.”
“The mountains that Lori Ross (and her team) have moved for children in need is beyond impressive. It is my great honor and privilege to bring the Darol Rodrock Foundation forward in support of Foster Adopt Connect to serve the needs of children aging out of foster care. I know that these young adults will be in the greatest of care under their guidance. I look forward to the opening of their new building in Kansas City, Kansas and am proud to be a member of the capital campaign leadership team.”