In honor of May being National Foster Care Month, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) has submitted a resolution to establish December 12th as National Foster Children's Day to raise awareness for the more than 400,000 children currently in foster care and shine a light on their unique needs and experiences. December 12th is already recognized as Foster Children's Day in New Jersey.
The overwhelming majority of foster children end up in this care after being removed from an abusive or neglectful household. The average age of a child when entering foster care is just nine years old, and they remain in care for 14-25 months on average. Just 13 percent of foster children will be adopted.
"All children are important and deserve to be loved, but sadly, foster children often endure many hardships and face a society that rarely understands their background," said Pallone. "It is essential that we recommit ourselves to recognizing the needs of these children and aid in facilitating their permanent placement."
The need to call national attention to the plight of foster children has broader repercussions for society. Each year, approximately 20,000 foster children nationwide are discharged from the foster care system to go it alone. Statistically, only 38 percent of discharged foster children will hold a job for more than a year and 55 percent will be arrested.
"Establishing December 12th as National Foster Children's Day will be a step towards broader awareness of the unique situations of foster children, and serve as an opportunity to encourage others to become involved with foster children and provide support," Pallone added.