To stem growing need for fostering, restore the nuclear family

To stem growing need for fostering, restore the nuclear family

To stem growing need for fostering, restore the nuclear family

There is a tremendous need in America for foster families – and to resolve issues that send children into foster care.

Upwards of 400,000 or more children in the U.S. are currently in foster care. According to the America First Policy Institute, one-third of those children experience instability with at least three placements per year. "[That highlights] a critical need for improved placement processes and support for stable environments," says AFPI.

American Family News contacted Lifeline Children's Services, a faith-based organization that facilitates adoption and foster care programs to help place vulnerable children in stable, loving homes. President and executive director Herbie Newell explains the number of children in foster care is fluid because of children coming into and going back into the system. He points to one of the modern reasons.

Newell, Herbie (Lifeline Children’s Services) Newell

"As we liberalize and take away many of our substance abuse laws and make so many illegal substances legal, it has an overarching effect on children," he tells AFN. "[Those] children … are being impacted by parental drug use, are experiencing more neglect, more abuse – and therefore needing to go into care."

But that's not the only reason for children needing foster care, he continues.

"With the breakdown of the nuclear family, you're seeing now generations that don't know what it means to provide more stability [and] care for children," says Newell. "We need broad-scale training on a localized level to really help restore the idea of family and the support that children need from families."

Over its 40-year existence, Lifeline has served more than 10,000 families, placed more than 4,300 children, and trained almost 1,500 families for fostering. AFPI contends that increased support for faith-based organizations like Lifeline is among needed reforms to the placement processes.