What is Foster Care?

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Parenting Resource Center

What is Foster Care?


Foster care is substitute care for babies, children, and youth, placed away from their parents or guardians and for whom the State agency has placement and care responsibility.  This includes, placements in foster family homes, foster homes of relatives, group homes, emergency shelters, residential facilities, child care institutions, and pre-adoptive homes.

Foster children usually enter the foster care system due to abuse and trauma in their home. Neglect is the #1 reason children are removed, followed by parental drug use.

This displacement causes a unique set of emotional, social and academic challenges for them. They often experience grief, guilt, anger, sadness, loneliness, anxiety, low self-esteem, mental and physical health issues.

What is Adoption?


Adoption is the legal process by which a child becomes a full, permanent and legal member of a new family. Adopted children and adoptive parents both benefit from the same legal, social and emotional rights as biological children and parents.

When children in foster care cannot be safely reunited with their biological families, mainly due to the parent’s abuse and neglect, adoption is often the most desirable goal. While many children are adopted by relatives, many are still searching for their forever home.

Parents who open their homes and hearts make a beautiful commitment to nurture and protect children in need.

Resources like these are provided by American SPCC – a national nonprofit dedicated to building positive childhoods for all children by empowering parents and caregivers with research-backed education and support.

This work is made possible by passionate donors and community advocates. Learn how you can get involved and support the mission here.

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Parenting Resource Center

What is Foster Care?