Foster Children are living in our ‘Blind Spot’

We are living in a time when Americans are opening their eyes to blind spots in society. Spots where disadvantage is the norm and opportunities for success are few and far between. For many of us, we unintentionally live our lives at full speed without noticing those around us who live in different circumstances. This year has become a time for us all to slow down, reflect, and do better in loving one another.

At the South Carolina Youth Advocate Program (SCYAP), we want to turn your eyes upon a group of children among us who need our attention! In the United States, approximately one percent of children ages 0-18 are determined to have been abused or neglected each year, and about one half of those children are in foster care at any given moment.

Currently, there are nearly 4,800 children in foster care in South Carolina. These children are often not thought of by most of us on any given day. However, these forgotten children are among us every day, in our communities, in our schools, in our churches. SCYAP has focused on caring for these children for over 30 years, and we need your help to make a difference for the next generation!

Foster care is a critical need in South Carolina. Outside of the children and families involved, our child welfare workers, law enforcement, teachers, mental health professionals, and others see these children every day and do their best to make a difference. However, the most valuable people during this difficult time of a child’s life are the foster parents. To give the gift of a family to a child who cannot be with their biological family is a gift of true love. At SCYAP, our foster parents are the heart and soul of our mission!

Unfortunately, there are not enough foster homes in our state to care for all the children who need a family, particularly those with some type of special need. While we have licensed, trained, and provide daily support to over 500 foster homes statewide, it is heartbreaking when we have to turn away children who need a home. We need more foster parents to invest in the life of a child in need.

Will you allow us to open your eyes a little wider, open your home, and let a child open your heart to new possibilities this year? You could be that one person who makes all the difference in the life of a child!

For additional information, contact John Connery, SC Youth Advocate Program at [email protected], call 803-779-5500 or find us online at www.scyap.com.