Founded in Austin, TX in 2016, Foster Village is led by experienced foster parents, child development experts, child welfare advocates and a board made up of passionate and diverse community professionals. This first-hand experience and understanding allows us to connect directly with foster families in ways that help them feel empowered and part of a larger mission.
Because we are foster parents ourselves, we have a deep understanding of how the system works, why children end up in the child welfare system and the challenges foster families face. Though we offer practical support and resources, we also address the root causes at work in the child welfare system and work towards a future where no family or child lacks the support they need to thrive.
There are over 400,000 children in the foster care system in the United States today. Because of the instability often associated with foster care, being in foster care is a pipeline to some of our most critical social issues:
- Former foster youth account for roughly 50% of our homeless population and 80% of human trafficking victims.
- 80% of foster youth suffer from PTSD and depression.
- 90% of youth with five or more placements enter the criminal justice system.
- Half of all licensed foster homes quit after their first placement, leading to increased instability for foster youth.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Foster youth are bright, capable, resilient kids, and when they are given nurturing environments to grow up in, the tools they need to succeed and a community of support, they are empowered to overcome adversity and become who they are created to be.
To come alongside children and families in the child welfare system and show them that they are not alone.
90% of surveyed foster and kinship families report that the services provided by Foster Village were a sustaining factor in their ability to continue fostering.
Foster Village Guiding Principles:
Bringing Dignity to the System: We bring dignity to the child welfare system by treating every interaction as an invitation to experience belonging. We strive to honor the inherent dignity, value, and worth of every child and family we serve. We understand the complex root causes of why children are placed in the foster care system and the potential benefits of building relationships between foster and biological families when it is safe and possible. We believe that isolation and disconnect are the real villains, and we are here to make sure no one feels alone.
Holistic Approach: Everything we do is trauma-informed and developmentally appropriate. Each child has unique needs and experiences that do not fit into a one-size-fits-all approach. We have created safe, child-centered, and home-like resource hubs to empower children in foster care and their families. And our work goes far beyoind just meeting immediate needs. While we provide full wrap-around support for families in crisis today, we also seek to create a better tomorrow for our community's vulnerable children by intentionally moving the needle toward a future where foster care is no longer needed.
Sustained Care: High burnout and turnover rates among foster families are common, which creates even more instability for children in foster care as they are moved from home to home. Over 90% of the families we serve cite the support they receive from Foster Village as one of the primary reasons that they are able to keep caring for children. Our services aim to be transformational rather than transactional.
All-Embracing Community: Everyone is welcome in our village, and a child's ability to overcome adversity is supported by the unique gifts that those around them bring to the table. We serve foster families, kinship caregivers, and biological parents, and we welcome volunteers from all backgrounds. We value the many roles of those working within the child welfare systerm (social workers, judges, guardian ad litems, etc.), as well as the many roles that the community beyond the system can play in being part of a child's village of support. Everyone has a role in shaping outcomes for future generations.
“I think Foster Village uniquely understands and supports the WHOLE family - the foster family, relatives, and biological family, and understands the tensions and complexities of doing that. It is not "us vs. them" to Foster Village. These children and families are connected to us, and we are connected to them. The best outcomes for everyone happen when we realize there is no enemy, and the healing power of love. Foster Village exemplifies that. - Foster Mom