Foster care and massive childhood trauma
We currently have about 400,000 children in our foster care system, and all are at extremely high risk. As the average stay in foster care is only 2 years, we should pay more attention to the environment foster children generally come from.
Read the table above to see the environment foster kids come from.
Now look at the result, as shown by these statistics. [click here for source]
Almost 80% of inmates incarcerated in our prisons have spent time in foster care.
40-50% of former foster youth become homeless within 18 months after leaving care.
60% of former foster care youth earn incomes below the poverty line.
65% of children in foster care experience seven or more school changes from elementary to high school.
Only 1-3% graduate from college.
25% of foster youth will be in prison within two years of emancipation.
Four of five (80 percent) young women become pregnant too soon.
32% of foster children are between the ages of 0 and 5
28% of foster children are between the ages of 6 and 12
40% of foster children are between the ages of 13 and 21
They are diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at six times the general population and double the rate of veterans returning from war.
Eight of ten (81 percent) males have been arrested compared to 17 percent of their peers who were not in foster care.
This essentially proves that foster care, and the life outcomes for kids in foster care, are the result of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE's). There are 10 that are studied in research, and they are all mentioned in the above statistics (and more). You can look up the landmark ACE study, and related studies. ACE's predict all of the above results [click here for source].
ACE's are our nation's true epidemic, and this has been true for decades--it's so much worse than COVID-19. Child abuse costs this nation $4 trillion ($4,000,000,000!!!) in a year. This would pay for a college education for 70% of children. [click here for source]. The foster care system costs the US $9 trillion per year, and that does not include medical care, food stamps, cash welfare, and child care payments for foster kids. [click here for source]. Although people complain about military spending, the US in 2020 spent under $1 trillion ($767 million) on the military [click here for source]--less than 10% of the cost of foster care as quoted above.
ACE's can be prevented. But throwing money at the problem isn't working. More and more is spent on social welfare programs, and things have just gotten worse since that kicked off in 1963. The fact is, people do evil things to kids--the people who are supposed to love them--and that cannot be blamed on socioeconomic status. Blaming societal evil on socioeconomic status is part of the problem, as this essentially excuses evil acts perpetrated on children. If it's all the result of oppression, no one should be put in jail for abusing a child. Even if the cause of evil were hopelessness (it's not), only personal responsibility can bring meaning to the life of the individual.
WE are the solution, because WE are the problem--each individual.