We Need to Address Major Barriers for Potential Foster and Adoptive Parents

One of our priorities is to ensure that there are enough families who are licensed and willing to welcome children experiencing foster care into their homes. However, more than half of states saw a significant decline in licensed foster homes in 2023 (fostercarecapacity.com).

A recent study by Kidsave and Gallup provides insight into what keeps Americans, and specifically Black Americans, from fostering and adopting. Findings from this study can help organizations like Arms Wide to prevent a further decline in the number of licensed foster homes and provide more opportunities to connect children with their forever families.

Awareness Around Fostering and Adoption

Nearly two-thirds of all adults know little or nothing about the foster care system. These adults are less likely to have positive perceptions about the system, which can reduce their openness to fostering or adopting. While more than half of adults have considered becoming foster parents, 68% of them don’t know if they are eligible to do so. Black Americans are the most aware and involved in foster care and adoption but have less confidence in certain aspects of the system, such as separating biological families.

Creating awareness around what the foster and adoption process entails and who is eligible is a major step to encouraging adults to become potential parents. The team at Arms Wide understands the skepticism of the system and strives to build a foundation of trust and honesty with potential parents.

Readiness of Potential Parents

Nearly half of Americans say that insufficient training and resources are a major barrier to becoming foster or adoptive parents. Other major barriers include not feeling equipped to address a child’s potential behavioral or emotional challenges, changes needed to home or living situation, and not having enough access to mental health resources for the child or parent.

While these are valid concerns, our team works with potential foster and adoptive parents to reduce these barriers so they can feel confident and prepared to welcome a child with any specific needs into their home.

Discrimination Toward Potential Parents

Black and Hispanic adults list racial and ethnic discrimination as one of the major barriers for potential foster and adoptive parents. Discrimination is also a major reason keeping LGBT adults from providing foster care. People in these communities believe that they may be more scrutinized by child protective services due to cultural misunderstandings and prejudice.

Our team seeks to prevent any discrimination against parents by continuously refining our policies, protocols, practices, and programming, with the commitment to eliminate racial, ethnic, and gender disparities.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what keeps people from becoming foster and adoptive parents. But as we have done for more than four decades, Arms Wide continues to meet potential parents where they are to address any barriers keeping them from the joys of parenthood. To read the full study, click here. If you have any questions about fostering or adopting, contact us today.