The Problem




Each year, over 250,000 children enter the U.S. child welfare system and over 23,000 children age out of foster care.




  • HUMAN TRAFFICKING: 70% of human trafficking victims in the U.S. spent time in foster care.
  • INCARCERATION: In several states, 65% of inmates aged out of foster care.
  • HOMELESSNESS: There are currently 2 million 18-24-year-olds living homeless in the U.S., many of whom spent time in foster care.
  • PREGNANCY WITHIN A YEAR: 71% of young women become pregnant within one year of aging out of foster care.




That means we not only need to increase the number of families caring for vulnerable children, we also need to create support for these families so they can foster longer and stronger (Promise686).


We recognize the child welfare system is faced with significant challenges, and foster parents might feel ill-equipped without access to adequate resources. Children in the child welfare system can still be experiencing symptoms related to past trauma or have a desire to return to biological families, even if those families aren’t allowed or prepared to take them back. Locally, some foster children have voiced their discouragement toward DHR, house rules, and preclusion from social interactions with friends. Often, foster children do more poorly in academic studies than their peers.




We hope you’ll watch our documentary, Alabama Foster Care, a PBS APTV Special produced by Mike Ousley of Foster Coalition. It’s a close-up look at foster care families in Alabama and the tremendous emotional rewards that come with providing care.


To learn more about becoming a Foster Parent, Foster Care for Children and Teens, Kinship Guardianship, and Independent Living and see the most recent foster system statistics for Alabama, please visit the Alabama DHR website.





In our second documentary, Case Worker, you’ll meet some of Alabama’s DHR caseworkers who work with the more than 6,000 foster children and families around the state. Follow workers as they do their jobs and hear why they are so committed to the work they do. This is a PBS APTV Special produced by Mike Ousley of Foster Coalition.



Further Reading

Ready Or Not: Thirty Days of Discovery for Foster and Adoptive Parents
Pam Parish


Ready Or Not for Battle-Weary Parents
Pam Parish


No Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind
Dan J. Siegel, M.D., Tina Payne Bryson, PhD


The Foster Parenting Manual
John DeGarmo, PhD

Faith & Foster Care: How We Impact God’s Kingdom
John DeGarmo, PhD

Parenting From the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive
Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., Mary Hartzell, M.Ed.


Adoptive & Foster Parent Guide: How to Heal Your Child’s Trauma and Loss
Carol Lozier, MSW, LCSW

The Connected Child
Karyn Purvis, PhD


Parenting The Hurt Child
Gregory Keck, PhD, Regina M. Kupecky, LCW


Reframing Foster Care
Jason Johnson

The Out-of-Sync Child
Carole Kranowitz, M.A.

The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun, Revised Edition: Activities for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder
Carol Kranowitz, M.A.

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind
Dan Siegel, M.D.

Wounded Children, Healing Homes: How Traumatized Children Impact Adoptive and Foster Families
Jayne Schooler, Betsy Smalley, LSW, and Timothy Callahan, PsyD

Movies and TV Series


The Day I Picked My Parents
A documentary series that follows ten foster children who are part of a revolutionary program operated by the nonprofit organization Kidsave in California, as they search to find their forever home. For the first time in their lives, they will have input into their own destiny as they decide where they want to live and who will be their family.


Instant Family
Two house flippers are certain they can handle their latest project: adopting three longtime foster kids. But this group is anything but a family. Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) must learn the ropes of instant parenthood. Inspired by a true story, discover this must-see family comedy from the creators of Daddy’s Home.


Room for One More
Cary Grant and Betsy Drake star in a heartwarming comedy about a couple with three children who decide that three is definitely not enough. The comic complications of adopting a few new family members enliven this vastly enjoyable family film.


The Quiet Girl
Based on the short story Foster by Claire Keegan and set in rural Ireland, it follows a nine-year-old girl, Cait (Catherine Clinch), who is sent away from her dysfunctional family to live with her mother’s cousin and her husband for the summer. There, she experiences freedom and a loving home for the first time.


Ellen Foster
An 11-year-old girl is left an orphan when her mother commits suicide and her abusive, alcoholic father drinks himself to death. From the Hallmark Hall of Fame Collection, it stars Jena Malone, Julie Harris and Debra Monk.