12-Year-Old In Foster Care For 3 Years Announces His One Birthday Wish: A Family To Call His Own

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As the holiday season approaches, most people are looking forward to spending time with their families. Sadly, not everyone has a family to come home to for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hundreds of thousands of children live in the foster care system and have no permanent homes. One child in Texas is asking the public to help find him a forever family by his next birthday.

12-year-old Samuel says that he is fed up with being in Child Protection Services. In an interview with KWTX, Samuel says that he remembers the exact date he entered the Lone Star State’s foster care system: February 8, 2017. In the nearly three years since entering the system, Samuel has never been able to find a new family. Thankfully, the young boy is not without his champions. Chief among Samuel’s proponents is Katie Thomas, his case worker. In her own interview with KWTX, Katie described Samuel as a good kid who relates really well to adults.

Thanks to Katie and other workers in Child Protection Services, Samuel has been able to learn more about his interests, particularly computers and technology. CPS arranged a special tour of Texas State Technical College for Samuel last month, where the young boy blew away professors and teachers alike with his profound knowledge of subjects taught at the school. Continuing in her interview with KWTX, Katie says that the visit exemplified Samuel’s personality. While Samuel might struggle to communicate with kids his own age, he is wise beyond his years, being able to converse with adults and other elders with ease. Katie has the utmost confidence that Samuel will thrive once he is placed in a loving home with a forever family.

Samuel’s great knowledge and wisdom was on full display when a reporter asked the young man what love meant to him. Samuel responded that love means pouring your heart into someone and relying on them. Samuel’s heart is so full of love that when he gets older, he wants to open a residential treatment center, or RTC, to help children in the foster system. Katie says that Samuel’s desire to open an RTC is his way of showing other kids that he was once just like them and made it through the difficulties of his childhood.

Katie closes out her interview by pleading with the public to give Samuel a chance at finding a permanent home.

“He has the capacity to love, and he wants to love. He just needs that family to take that chance on him,” she told KWTX.

Samuel is one of over 6,000 abused and neglected children in Texas’s foster care system. Last year, 5,040 children were adopted through the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. While the agency says that these adoptions are successful for the kids involved, they cannot overemphasize that there are thousands of kids in the foster system looking for permanent families. Of the 6,000 kids being taken care of by Texas CPS, over 60 percent are over the age of six. This statistic is important as, by and large, older children have greater difficulty finding families willing to adopt them.

was founded by Charles Loring Brace in 1853. Brace sought to help the orphaned and homeless children of New York City in what became known as the “Orphan Train Movement.” Brace’s plan involved moving these children away from New York City and into rural areas. One of the ways the Children’s Aid Society accomplished this was by having families wishing to adopt a child fill out a form that involved specifying the child’s desired age, gender, and physical attributes, according to The New York Times. Other times, prospective adoptive parents could meet children up for adoption in public places.

The modern adoption process is markedly different from Brace’s time. According to data from the North American Council on Adoptable Children, there were 442,995 kids in the foster care system in 2017, an increase of about 10 percent from 2013. Most children enter the foster system due to issues with neglect and drug use among their primary caregivers. In 56 percent of cases, child protective services usually aim to reunite kids with their biological families in the time span of 20 months. In 2017, only 15 percent of kids in the foster system had been in it for three or more years.

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