Local teens aging out of foster care

Published 10:18 am Friday, November 23, 2018

November is National Adoption Month, an annual campaign sponsored by the Children’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and local Department of Social Services to encourage communities to support the thousands of children across the country in need of permanent families.

It is well known that teenagers are less likely to be adopted, often because of their age, and are much more likely to age out of foster care without strong or stable family support. Securing lifelong connections for teens in foster care, legally and emotionally, is a critical component in determining their future achievement, health, and well-being, said Tracie Murphy, Davie County Director of Social Services.

In Mocksville, there are eight, 15–17-year olds in foster care who are at risk of aging out of the system without fundamental emotional, legal, and/or financial support. Statistics show that as many as 50 percent of youth who age out of foster care are likely to become homeless.

This year’s National Adoption Month focuses on the importance of empowering youth voices.  These voices can be heard in a series of videos that provide an inside look into the lives of real youth and families. The stories document the rewards and challenges of adoption and parenting teenagers, but, most importantly, they highlight the importance and value of hearing directly from youth. The videos can be viewed at www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/nam/video.  The videos will also be shared on the Davie County Government Facebook page.

“We hope community members will share these videos with families who are exploring adoption or with teens in foster care who may benefit from hearing about the experiences of other teens. When teens with experience in foster care, whether they have reunified with family, achieved permanency with an adoptive family, or entered adulthood independently, share their stories, unique insights can inspire peers and prospective adoptive families,” said Murphy.

For more information on becoming a Davie County Foster Parent contact the licensing supervisor, Tim Roach, at 336-753-6250.