Children are placed in foster care for many reasons. At times families struggle with addiction, illness, domestic violence, death, and many other issues that prevent them from being able to provide the care their children need. The children are of all ages and varying needs. They may have been neglected or abused by their caregivers or other children and can wrestle with feelings of fear, anger, confusion, and hopelessness. Most foster children have siblings and many have developmental, physical, emotional, or behavioral problems.
Foster care is temporary, and placements may last a few days, months, or years. Children usually continue to visit with their families until they are reunited or a safe, stable permanent home is found. Some foster parents want to become adoptive parents and some do not. All are committed to giving the children the safety, stability, and skills they need to become successful members of our society.
On a typical day in Wisconsin, there are over 7,000 children living in foster families. The average length of stay in foster care is 20 months.