May is National Foster Care Month

May 1, 2024


May is National Foster Care Month! This year’s theme is “Engaging Youth. Building Supports. Strengthening Opportunities.”  The month raises awareness about authentic youth engagement, the importance of life-long connections, how to best support youth as they transition out of foster care and the growing need for foster families.

The transition to adulthood is a time of great potential for all young people, but youth who exit foster care without permanence face increased barriers to a successful transition. There are over 391,000 children and youth in foster care. Approximately 20,000 youth age out of the foster care system each year without a permanent family. Once in foster care, older youth spend more time in care than their peers who enter care before age 14.  In 2021, an estimated 77 percent of eligible youth in foster care, ages 14–21 years old, left care without receiving the federally funded services necessary to prepare them for adulthood and independent living.

Data shows that extended foster care is associated with improved access to services and positive outcomes for older youth ages 18 to 21. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of youth in extended foster care, through their 19th birthday, received more services, than older youth not in extended foster care. In 2021, 58 percent of Black youth and 57 percent of Hispanic and Latino youth in foster care aged 16 years or older exited care without permanence. Foster youth who transition out of care without strong connections are more likely to become homeless, be diagnosed with mental health disorders, suffer from substance abuse, and become involved in the juvenile justice system.

Richland County Children Services (RCCS) believes that every child deserves a loving home! RCCS has on average between 130 to 140 children in custody. Families are needed for all age children, but especially for older youth. Foster care involves the temporary care of children ages newborn to age 18, all races, sibling groups, various religions, and children with special needs.

RCCS encourages all individuals to invest in the lives of children and to provide them with unconditional love, support, guidance, and every available resource to ensure their health and well-being.

We need more heroes to help make a difference in a child's life! This May, we can make a difference in the lives of youth in foster care with your support. Become a foster parent today! Contact Richland County Children Services at 419-774-4100 or visit our website /foster-adoption/foster-adoption-inquiry-and-resources.

 To Be a Foster Parent:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age or older.
  • Be a resident of Richland County or surrounding counties.
  • You can be married, single or divorced.
  • You can have other children.
  • You can own or rent your home or apartment.
  • Consent to a criminal background check


« Back to News