America Has its Own Orphan Crisis, Notes Sarah Ehrlich
PHILADELPHIA, PA, July 10, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- While Sarah Ehrlich helps orphans on an international level, that does not mean that the United States is void of this problem. Quite the opposite in fact. There are thousands of children who enter the system each year, and many who remain there until they age out. Sarah Ehrlich responds to the crisis as presented in a recent article on The Christian Post.
Unfortunately many people are unaware just how many children are in America's foster care system. They do not realized how many do not have a safe, stable, loving home environment to call their own. According to the article, America has approximately 400,000 children living in the foster care system, and more than 250,000 children enter each year. Of these 400,000 children, approximately 100,000 are in need of an adoptive family.
Many children are in safe foster home placements, but it is not the same as having a "forever family" adopt them. They are often moved between placements, which does not allow them to build the stable, secure environment they are longing for. One former foster child summed up the sentiment well when he said, "If you jump from foster home to foster home to foster home, if they just randomly move you ... like they did us, it's just like, it throws you completely off balance and then like if you were feeling secure then you are completely insecure because you don't know where you are at or who you are with."
More than 20,000 children age out of foster care around age 18 each year. They were never adopted, and their outlook is grim. According to studies, "one in four will be incarcerated within two years of leaving the system, and over one-fifth will become homeless at some time after age 18. In addition, only 58 percent obtain their high school diploma by age 19, compared to the national average of 87 percent for non-foster youth."
The process is not as difficult or intimidating as some may think. Free information sessions are held around the nation to inform and promote fostering and the foster-to-adopt process. Participants can become more knowledge about the process and if it is the right move for their family. In some cases, adoption can cost nothing at all. There is a need for reform within the foster care system to encourage and support adoption.
Even if someone does not find that it is their place to adopt, they can still support the children in the system. Providing mentoring, support for biological parents, volunteering, and advocating are all needed. Helping more teens before they age out of the system is important, as is avoiding keeping children "in limbo" when reunification with their biological parents is not progressing. Children deserve permanent, loving homes.
Through her organization, Sarah Ehrlich reaches out to help as many orphans as possible internationally, but notes that working within the United States is more difficult. "Many people reach out to us to help orphaned children in the United States," she confirms. "Unfortunately, our hands are tied because of the foster care system. There are many organizations that would like to help these children, but the system closes us off from being able to offer any real help." Sarah Ehrlich adds that all children, regardless of their location, should know what it feels like to have a safe, loving family to call their own.
Sarah Ehrlich is the founder of Help for Orphans International, a non-profit organization focused on benefitting the orphan population in underdeveloped countries. The group supports orphanages in Africa, Asia, and Central America by providing necessary supplies such as food, clothing, and school materials. They also assist with education and sustainable living programs to help improve the children's quality of life.
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