America's Lost Children Growing Up

In 2017, 690,000 American children spent time in foster care.

One hundred thousand currently await adoption.

It’s a dire situation for our country. And it’s getting worse.

In states like Ohio and West Virginia–because of the opioid crisis–the percentage of children awaiting adoption has risen by 20 percent.

In the meantime, these children languish in foster homes.

Some of the homes are good. Some not so much.

Joe Toles grew up in one of the bad ones. He was abused and neglected. He frequently had to care for his siblings himself.

When Joe aged out of foster care at age 21 (in many states, it’s 18), he did not find the path many aged-out kids land on.

One-third of aged-out 19-year-olds in California end up homeless.

One of four become incarcerated.

Seventy percent of women who’ve aged out of foster care become pregnant before they are 21.

Aged-out kids are seven times more likely to develop substance abuse disorders and five times more likely to suffer from PTSD.

But for seven young men who used to be in foster care, that’s not the story.

That’s because Joe Toles adopted them.

When he was younger, Toles found mentors. He got a college scholarship. After graduation, he returned to his community and became a high school counselor.

He adopted his sons through the Dave Thomas Foundation–a charity arm of the fast-food chain known as Wendy’s.

But Toles’s story isn’t just an anecdote about a big charity that isn’t otherwise making a big difference.

Children in the Dave Thomas Foundation’s program are 300 percent more likely to find a forever home.

This foundation is effective.

If you can, consider adoption. If you cannot, go buy a Frosty. Buy some chili. Buy a Baconator or a burger or just a salad.

Or just donate (tax-deductible) at this link.

Many of America’s children are in crisis.

The Dave Thomas Foundation is standing in the gap. Let’s stand with them.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

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Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

24 Replies to “America's Lost Children Growing Up”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing Sister I had no idea what the foundation was about. Such an important organization! God Bless You Sister I will make sure I do more to help in this area.

  2. Such heartbreaking statistics. Thank you for sharing some ways we can help! God bless you and your heart for the lost and the least, Nancy.

  3. Wow this is wonderful! It is so encouraging to hear about people stepping up and doing something to make a difference. May it be a conviction and motivation to us all to go out and do instead of just complain or worry about the tough things in this life.

  4. I was not expecting the way you closed this post, Nancy, but I’m pleasantly surprised. I love Wendy’s and a for-profit organization that gives back. I didn’t know about the Foundation and I’m pleased to hear about it. Prayers to the foster youth, especially those aging out and aged out.

  5. These are heartbreaking numbers. Thank God for agencies working toward homes for these children. I have recently read that foster children are targeted by sex traffickers, too. So glad to hear of the Dave Thomas Foundation. I will check it out.

    1. It’s terrible to think that sex traffickers are targeting foster kids–but not surprising. Thanks for contributing to the discussion, Beth. God bless!

  6. I didn’t realize that the Dave Thomas Foundation provided support with this. The statistics you shared are heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing this. Will definitely keep this in mind as a group to contribute to.

    1. So many people grow up in a troubled way and carry the trouble to the next generation. Great heroes grow up in trouble and take a different direction later on. He’s one of them. Thanks, Karen. God bless!

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