5 Simple Fixes for Stabilizing At-Risk Families
Studies show that children who enter the foster system are four times more likely to end up incarcerated and have mental health and addiction issues. The trauma they experience impedes physical and emotional development, making it more difficult to succeed academically.
In fact, only 73% of children in the foster care system will graduate from high school; compared to 90% of general population youth. Of those who do manage to graduate, less than 3% will go on to earn a college degree.
Ultimately, most youth who enter foster care will age out of the system ALL ALONE. Having never benefitted from consistent parent figures, these children are up against extreme odds.
It is HEARTBREAKING.
To address these alarming circumstances, Memphis Dream Center walks with families who are at risk of losing their children to state custody by providing basic necessities required to keep Memphis children in safe and stable homes.
In this giving season, we are committed to providing families with items that deliver immediate relief from the threat of separation. Some of these items include:
- Diapers: More expensive now than ever before, a consistent supply of diapers can be difficult to acquire for a family experiencing hardship. However, clean diapers are necessary to maintain sanitary conditions for small babies.
- School Uniforms: Most schools in low-income communities require children to wear school uniforms in order to attend. These items are usually an expense to the child’s family. Uniforms for the colder weather are more expensive and can create a financial burden for a family that is already in distress. Clean and properly fitting uniforms ensure a child can continue to go to school with confidence.
- Beds: One of The Department of Children’s Services basic requirements for an approved sleeping area is that each child have their own bed that includes a mattress, box spring and bed frame. A twin-size bed set can run an excess of $100 not counting the linen and pillows that usually accompany a properly outfitted sleeping space! Homes that do not have adequate sleeping arrangements leave children at risk of being taken into foster care.
- Bedroom Furnishings: Having a space to call their own stimulates independence and creativity in children. Unfortunately, some youth are forced to share every single inch of a home, often sleeping in the same bed as siblings or other adult family members and keeping their personal belongings in trash bags. Bedroom furnishing lets a child unpack and settle into their surroundings, facilitating a sense of stability.
- Laundry expenses: The cost of laundry is easy to overlook, especially when basic needs like food and shelter already hang in the balance. When you add up the expense of utilizing a laundromat for a family of four as well as the supplies associated with doing laundry and the transportation arrangements necessary to get to the laundromat, its no wonder that such a simple chore becomes just another strain on a delicate family.
Our hope is that by intervening, there is an increased level of prevention for children entering state care.
The MDC Family Advocacy Center is a believer that “it takes a village” and we are honored to be part of so many villages. Partner with us TODAY so that all Memphis families have the opportunity to thrive and prosper! Scroll back up and DONATE to make an impact on generations of present and future dreams.