Katherine shared her support for the work of Raise The Future with a video message shown at the non-profit organization’s virtual gala on October 3rd. Raise The Future exists to ensure that children who have been removed from their home due to abuse and neglect grow up to reach their full potential in life, connecting them to a loving family that is empowered to help them heal and thrive.

Speaking passionately about a subject very close to her heart, she explained how adoption has been a defining blessing in her life. Her daughters Nancy Leigh Mi-Eun (Naleigh) and Adalaide Marie Hope were both adopted, and her older sister Meg was also adopted three years before Katherine was born.

The Problem

At any given time approximately 443,000 children in the United States are in our foster care system. In addition to the abuse and/or neglect that caused them to be removed from their homes and placed in the foster care system, experiences while in foster care — including frequent moves — expose youth to additional trauma and lead to even worse outcomes for these youth and our community. For those youth that “age-out” of the system without family:

  • 20% become instantly homeless upon emancipation of the system
  • 71% of young women will become pregnant by age 21
  • 50% will be unemployed by age 25
  • 25% will be incarcerated within the first two years of “aging out”

The personal and societal costs are high. For every young person who ages out of foster care, taxpayers and communities pay $300,000 in social costs like public assistance, incarceration, and lost wages over that person’s lifetime. For the 21,000 youth that aged-out in 2019, that comes to a total of almost $8 billion in social costs to the United States every year.

Every child deserves a loving, stable, and safe home. Every child deserves to walk through this life with unconditional love by their side.

— Katherine Heigl

The Solution

The evidence-based family recruitment and family strengthening services used by Raise the Future are proven to be three times more likely to find the right final family for children waiting in foster care then traditional methods. By partnering with local counties and state departments of human services, Raise the Future is systematically working to eliminate the backlog of youth lingering in foster care, reduce the amount of time each child spends in foster care, and ensure that children are not re-entering foster care by supporting families with the tools needed to help their child heal and thrive. The future of youth in foster care is transformed when they are connected to a loving family that is empowered to help them heal. Compared to youth that age-out without a family, youth that achieve legal permanency are:

  • 110% more likely to go to college
  • Have 75% higher incomes
  • 50% less likely to experience homelessness
  • 200% more likely to seek and receive mental health support

Since 1983 Raise The Future has designed and implemented evidence-based, wraparound services that reduce the amount of time youth in foster care live without a permanent family. Their programs increase the likelihood of children forming and sustaining positive connections that help to transform their futures.

If you would like to show your support for their work please visit their website at www.raisethefuture.org.