Why We Do it

THE COSTS ARE HIGH

In the United States, over 650,000 children spend time being raised within the child welfare system each year. In addition to the traumatic impact on each of these children, the cost to society is staggering. According to the Center for Disease Control, the United States spends $129 billion dollars a year on the treatment and care of the children in the foster care system.

It’s no atypical for a child who has been in the foster care system for 5-10 years to have 20-50 foster home placements, each placement representing an unsuccessful match. The direct cost for each of these young people ranges from $150,000-$250,000 per year in placement services, not including the costs of courts, social workers, medications, or healthcare.

Despite its price tag, the current system is remarkably ineffective. In 2012, more than 23,000 youth “aged out” of the foster care system without a permanent family. The social costs of the public assistance, incarceration, and lost wages over the lifetime of the young adults who “age out” are estimated to be $8 billion each year.

Our current system is designed to keep our children from physical harm but often causes psychological harm, and the full impact of childhood trauma is not being solved using the current outdated interventions.

It is time for a new approach. Together we can do better.

WHAT IS ALIA DOING TO ENCOURAGE CHANGE?

Join the Movement.