Ways to Help
Now, more than ever volunteers are needed. From helping out at an agency to becoming a Court-Appointed Special Advocate- you are needed.
Be a Foster/Adoptive Parent
Nearly 500,000 children in the US are in foster care, many are ready for adoption and awaiting their forever home. You are the missing link. Start your journey today.
There are hundreds of organizations that support children in foster care. Your contribution is vital, especially during the holidays. We’ve linked to our favorite agency Pathways Youth and Family Services.
What is Foster.Support?
Our goal is to use technology and data to encourage and empower foster families.
We became licensed foster parents in 2018. Being first time parents was a big step for us, let alone new parents to a sibling group of four. We had an amazing support network who helped us at every opportunity.
As we met many other foster parents throughout our journey, we found that not everyone shared our experience and that much of the time “the system” is the problem. The average turnover rate of a foster parent is 30%, this year with the effects of the pandemic turnover is estimated to exceed 50%.
This leaves children in a terrible position, with nearly 500,000 in foster care in the US and over 30,000 in our home state of Texas. There are countless stories of children in shelters on sleeping cots because of the critical need for foster homes.
Foster.Support was founded on the premise of removing the obstacles that many foster families face with technology and helping all involved with child welfare make data-driven decisions.
Our foster journey began in 2018, and we became a "forever family" of 6, December 2020!
What are the biggest needs in foster care in Texas?
Care of older children close to aging out of the foster care system
In Texas, more than 1,000 kids age out of the foster care system each year, leaving them vulnerable to homelessness, abuse and more, according to Christian Alliance for Orphans.
Therapeutic foster care
About 5,010 kids have therapeutic needs (moderate, specialized, intense levels) within Texas, according to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. There are two levels of therapeutic foster care available through Buckner. Below are a few examples of what you will find in both levels of care.
Sibling group foster care
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services reports that 7,253 sibling groups in the state of Texas are currently in foster care. Of those, 34.9% of them are not placed together. The multiple losses a child experiences when entering foster care is compounded by the unexpected loss of sibling separation. As one foster care alumni shared, “Being separated from my entire life was bad enough but being separated from my siblings is still painful.”
What we're working on
Our experiences with the foster to adoption process have allowed us to address concerns and consider ideas that will make an impact. Here’s what we have in development:
A website that promotes foster and adoptive parents
Simplify the communications between the foster parents and support team
Amplify the stories of children formerly in foster care.
About Yves & Khalila Hughes
Yves & Khalila have been married since 2010 and have four children ages 6, 8, 14 and 15.
Khalila holds a Masters of Science in Document Design and is currently a User Experience designer.
Yves is Product Manager at a Fortune 500 company and founder of several technology startups. He holds an MBA in Technology Management and currently obtaining his Masters of Data Science at Southern Methodist University.
Their top priority is to support and promote foster parents and provide for children in the child welfare system.
Many have heard our story and have asked how to support us directly so we’ve set up a GoFundMe here.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does one get started?
We reviewed a few agencies online before reaching out. One agency held monthly sessions on becoming a foster parent. We ultimately chose Pathways Youth and Family Services.
I'm not ready to foster, is there another way to help?
There are several ways to help. We found this informative list but here’s the summary:
- Provide respite care
- Support a foster family
- Become a CASA
How can I help make the holidays special?
This year will be especially tough for many children in foster care because of the pandemic. Volunteering is down 50% from last year as well as donations. Our agency, Pathways has an online giving page specifically for this holiday.
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