In September 2017, 301 Collin County children lived in foster care. Their names and stories are confidential, but the numbers help paint a picture of who these children are and what they need.
Babies and Preschoolers
More than half of Collin County foster children are kindergartners or younger. In addition to requests for help with childproofing and clothing for these constantly growing little ones, Foster Friends often sees requests for cranial orthosis helmets for the youngest children in care. Although children in foster care receive Medicaid, helmets for correcting the shape of a baby’s skull aren’t covered.
Elementary School Students
There were 51 elementary school students ages 6-9 in Collin County foster care in September 2017. Due to trauma or frequent moves, we sometimes begin to see children in this age group fall behind their peers in school. Foster Friends is able to fund tutoring to help get these kids back on track. Additionally, kids in this age group are often eager to get involved in sports or other activities with their friends. Foster Friends helps with registration fees for activities like sports, dance, or swimming lessons.
Teens age 14-17 made up just 13% of kids in care last month, but their expenses are often significant. Teens who have spent a any amount of time in foster care often continue to benefit from tutoring, and sometimes need extra academic help or summer school in order to graduate on time. Enrollment in extracurricular activities benefits these older children as well. Additionally, we love to receive requests to fund career training programs and career camps for Collin County teens in foster care as they prepare themselves for adult living. Driver’s education is another big expense that we see with kids in this age group. While most young people learn to drive the family car under their parents’ instruction, things aren’t so simple for teens in foster care. Attaining a driver’s license is a critical step in preparation for independent living.
Nine young adults age 18 and up remained in Collin County foster care last month. This is possible for foster youths who are in college or high school, working, or preparing to work, as well as for those with certain medical conditions. High school graduation is a huge accomplishment for young people who have endured childhood trauma. In addition to outfitting graduates with caps, gowns, yearbooks, and class rings, Foster Friends proudly provides laptops and printers to college-bound foster youth.