Most of us are aware of the maladies racking government entitlement programs like SNAP and Medicaid. But there’s another government run program whose implications are arguably the worst of all — foster care.

The statistics are horrifying. According to the Foundation for Government Accountability:

  • 60% of children rescued from sex trafficking report being part of the foster care system
  • 14 out of 21 men who age out of the foster care system (meaning they turn 18 and are no longer eligible for the system) end up incarcerated by the time they’re 20-years-old
  • 71% of girls who’ve been run through the foster care wringer are pregnant by the time they’re 21-years-old

safe families foster care failing entitlement reform

There are plenty of stats on the matter — none of them good. Thankfully, there is an extra-governmental alternative. SAFE FAMILIES FOR CHILDREN or SAFE FAMILIES provides temporary assistance through private charity. Unlike the foster care system, SAFE FAMILIES takes a holistic approach to assist all members of the family in need. SAFE FAMILIES has three main objectives:

  • Protect: A safe option that greatly reduces the number of kids entering the child welfare system
  • Prevent: A safe, temporary home for a child while a parent in crisis gets help and support, preventing abuse and neglect without the threat of losing custody
  • Nurture: An extended volunteer family to offer help, advice and support to parents who never had a social safety net to rely on

SAFE FAMILIES relies upon early intervention to ensure the best outcome. Volunteer families go through extensive screening and work with parents to ensure their child’s needs are being met. Parents maintain full custody of their children while volunteer families have temporary power of attorney. Additionally, biological parents are still able to see and talk to their children and the results speak for themselves.

Safe families more kids helped, more families succeed foster care

Economically speaking, SAFE FAMILIES is a significantly better social investment. In terms of the cost of care, taxpayers spend anywhere from $25k – 30k per child with mostly unfortunate results. SAFE FAMILIES on the other hand, requires about $1,500 per child and is privately funded.

In 2010, Katie Couric interviewed families who’d participated in the SAFE FAMILIES program. Their stories, while heartbreaking, are stories of hope and promise. WARNING: You’ll need the kleenex for this one:

I learned about SAFE FAMILIES last week from the good folks at the Foundation for Government Accountability. Conservatives spend much time imagining private charity solutions to government welfare. SAFE FAMILIES is one of the best, if not the best examples of private charity stepping in where government failed.

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