We seek lifelong connections for children growing up without families
In 1885, Boys & Girls Aid was founded in response to a crisis. Children were being abandoned on the streets of Portland with nowhere to go. The agency created a home for these children to go to and connection in the community to find families for them.
Over 130 years later and Oregon is facing a new crisis.
More than 8,000 children are living in Oregon’s foster care system. This morning, these children woke up in a bed that is not theirs, they are living without their parents, their siblings, their family pet, their teachers and friends. They are living in limbo, unsure about their future.
If we don’t find a positive solution, the outcomes for children who stay in foster care are troubling. Children who grow up in foster care face serious challenges. Less than 5% will attend college. Just under 50% will not graduate high school. The chances of them becoming homeless or incarcerated are significantly higher than their peers.
Their struggles are tied to instability in the foster care system. Children entering foster care will move more than four times during their first year. If a permanent solution is not found, this process is repeated over and over again with more moves. Children in foster care enter a tailspin where they no longer trust adults and live in a fight or flight mentality. They get frustrated. They get aggressive. And then they lose hope.
At Boys & Girls Aid, we see children in foster care for who they really are – kids. They are young people who have done nothing to deserve their situation and we believe that in the right family, they can thrive. It is our mission to make sure every child in foster care grows up in a family.
This is Boys & Girls Aid’s solution. Children in foster care need families who know their history and are invested in their future. The cycle of foster care is a brutal one that ends with children struggling as adults. To avoid this, we need to ensure their future safety and resolve their past traumas by connecting them with a forever family.
Our journey to end the cycle of foster care is not one we want to go at alone. Join us in building a better future for children in Oregon.