A look at our children
The Struggle: The U.S. has over 500,000 children who are in foster care at any given time. Over 5,200 of those children are in Nevada, and 3,600 live in Clark County. Of the 5,200+ Nevadan children in out-of-home care 1,000, or about 28% are waiting to be adopted. Children in foster care often have special emotional, educational, and health needs related to their experiences of abuse or neglect.
Drug Abuse: The most common reason children come into foster care is from drug abuse by the parent(s) which often leads to neglect. Methamphetamines are the most common drug abused in Las Vegas, and one of the fastest growing illegal drugs in America.
Child Abuse: The second leading cause of children coming into foster care is abuse. Neglect is the most common form of child abuse counting 59.2% of all cases, second is drug abuse at 19.5%, and third is physical abuse at 18.6%. Other forms of abuse are sexual abuse, and emotional/psychological maltreatment. The most common age for a child abuse victim is birth to 3 years of age.
Outcome: Each year, an estimated 20,000 young people "age out" of the U.S. foster care system. Many are 18 years old and still need support and services. These young people are often left vulnerable to a host of adverse situations such as: homelessness, unemployment, compromised mental health, poor educational status, poverty, substance abuse, and incarceration.
So What can we do?
As Christ followers, our response in life always comes from that of what we know of God's character and from what He has asked us to do. Caring for foster children is at the very heart of who God is as He demonstrates that He is a father to the fatherless, that he sees the oppressed, and that He longs to interact in particular with the marginalized of society. In addition to foster care mirroring God's character He has repeatedly, throughout the entirety of scripture, made it clear that we as His followers are to take care of the alien, orphan, and widow as they are the vunerable sectors of society. Because of their great need they are also most ripe to experience and respond to God's love through us.
Let's make a difference in their lives together!
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
“Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him,‘Go, Iwish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?"