Local organization raises awareness of foster care and adoption needs for teens

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — As National Adoption Month comes to a close, one local organization wants to bring attention to the more than 800 young people statewide who age out of the foster system without a permanent home. 

As of June of this year, Philadelphia accounts for more than 5,000 foster kids, according to Bethany Christian Services

Kim Dent, manager of Bethany's foster care program, said the city needs more resources.

"The need is tremendous (in the city of Philadelphia) compared to a neighboring county," she said. "For instance, Montgomery County, there are only 300 children in the foster care system." 

The National Foster Youth Initiative reports 20% of young people aging out of the system will become instantly homeless, and only half will have some form of gainful employment by the age of 24. About 25% of them still suffer from direct effects of post-trumatic stress disorder.

Dent said the fears about adopting an older child can be dispelled with Bethany's post-adoption services program. 

"We provide counseling services, we provide monthly support groups," she said. "We are walking alongside the families for as long as they need us." 

Bethany hosts adoption orientations throughout the year at their Jenkintown location, with two scheduled for December 3 and 7.