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Who are the children?

Who are the approximately 15,000 children in Georgia’s foster care system?

 

How do children end up in foster care?

  • All of our children come into state care with issues of trauma. This may be the result of neglect, which is the most common reason for children to come into care, but also as the result of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.
  • Often times they come to us as the result of domestic violence and issues of addiction or the incarceration of their parents. Regardless, the fact that they have had to leave home and must stay with people and in places unknown to them results in additional trauma.

What types of children are in foster care?

  • Most often the children referred to us are sibling groups, teenagers, infants and children with specialized medical or emotional needs, and sibling groups.   We have a real need for families to take children age 10 and up and sibling groups.
  • We ask our families to be approved to care for more than one child as we know that separating siblings results in additional trauma for children, which we try to avoid when possible.
  • Our children are not orphans. They do have a family.  When they come to us, we are committed to working to restore that family whenever possible in order for a child to be reunified with them.  During their time with us, children are usually engaged in visitation with their families. These visits do not typically happen in your home but in the community.

 

How long are children in foster care?

  • Our children are usually in our care for a few months up to about eighteen months; this varies tremendously, depending on the family. Reunification of the family is always considered first, followed by relative or kinship care and the majority of our children are able to be reunified with family members.
  • If neither of these options is viable, an adoption plan is usually made for the children with the foster parents being considered for this role.   UMCH does help facilitate these adoptions.  Throughout the placement, DFCS remains the custodian of the children until their reunification or until the finalization of an adoption.