Foster and Group Home Families

Did You Know?

  • In 2006 there were 510,000 kids in foster care in the US. 1
  • Kids spend an average of 2 birthdays in foster care. 1
  • 17% (88,475) of children in care live in group care or institutional settings. 1
  • Currently, more than 124,000 foster children, or one-quarter of all children in foster care in the United States, are placed with relative foster parents (kinship care). 2

  • For multiple reasons, children might be cared for by foster parents or people who work in institutions for short or long periods of time. Consider these tips to help you raise successful kids.
  • Remember, families come in so many different shapes and forms these days. Celebrate this and highlight your kids’ awareness by seeking out books or movies that show complex family structures as a regular part of the world.
  • Create a family tree art project together with your kids. Use any materials you like—magazines, construction paper, paint, string, objects from nature. Label by name the many folks involved in your kids’ histories. Let the “branches” be as multiple and “crazy” as necessary to include everyone—parents, grandparents, siblings of all varieties, aunts, uncles, friends, pets, second cousins’ divorced husbands with the cool car. Everyone. Then display it, step back and enjoy the beauty together.
  • Get more ideas for family fun activities >
  • Consider involving your kids in support groups, educational ventures or clubs designed to support non-traditional families. Having them spend time with others who have a non-traditional family experience can allow them to feel understood, as well as giving them a place to share experiences with other folks who know what their unique challenges are. And it may give you an afternoon off now and then!
  • —————

    1. The Pew Charitable Trusts. (2009). Kids are waiting: Fix foster care now. Retrieved from

    2. The Pew Charitable Trusts, & Generations United. (2007). Time for reform. Retrieved from

    3. The Pew Charitable Trusts, & Generations United. (2007). Time for reform. Retrieved from