Grant Guidelines for Foster Care and Adoption
The Freddie Mac Foundation strives to keep families together, safe and thriving. But not all families are able to adequately care for their children for a variety of reasons. There are more than 500,000 children in the foster care system across the United States and over 114,000 will never return home. Over 5,000 children are in foster care systems in the metropolitan Washington DC region. Our grantmaking investments support children in the foster care system in two critical areas: promoting permanency and helping youth leaving the system to achieve self-sufficiency.
Finding Permanent Homes for Children and Youth in Foster Care
Children and youth in the foster care system are at high risk of poor outcomes, if they are not able to return to their family of origin or find a permanent adoptive home. The Freddie Mac Foundation invests in efforts that place foster children in loving, adoptive homes or help them to safely return to their families. We also support efforts that promote public awareness about the plight of foster children and work to improve child welfare practice and policies.
In addition to our other investments, the Foundation has created and supports five Wednesday's Child programs located in Washington, DC, New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Atlanta. The Freddie Mac Foundation is a founding supporter of National Adoption Day and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.
We believe: Programs that work intensively to reunify families; recruit foster and adoptive parents; and place special needs children in adoptive homes are key to finding permanent homes for foster children. At the same time, foster and adoptive parent training and support services, respite care and general retention programs for foster and adoptive parents are important strategies to maintain permanent homes for foster children. In addition, improving child welfare policy and practice are vital to achieving positive outcomes for foster children and youth. Our investments also support public awareness and education efforts and the training and development of child welfare professionals.
Outcome: Foster children growing up in permanent, stable and loving families.
Helping Youth Leaving Foster Care to Become Self-Sufficient
An estimated 20,000 foster children will be released from foster care each year at age 18 or older without a permanent family, facing difficult challenges in making the transition to adulthood and stability. In addition to success in school, having a good job, and demonstrating the ability to make responsible choices, young people aging out of foster care must immediately become self-sufficient and acquire stable housing. And, just as importantly, these youth will greatly benefit and sustain gains, if they have a lifelong connection to a caring, supportive family or adult.
We believe: Programs that help youth leaving the foster care system find and sustain housing are critical to the youth's ability to achieve self-sufficiency. Additionally, these youth will benefit from programs that help them find and maintain lifelong connections to caring adults who will provide the needed support to navigate the challenges ahead of them.
Outcome: Foster youth have the life skills required to live independently, have a connection to a caring adult, and are living in stable housing.