As promised, here’s part 2 of the Foster Teen Quilt Project! If you missed Part 1- here you go!
I wanted to take this time to share some facts about kids in the foster system while I share the four feminine quilts we made.
On any given day, there are approximately 402,000 children in the foster system in the United States.
The City of Alexandria on average has about 100 children in foster care. About half of the children are a part of large sibling groups, almost half are middle –school age or older.
The amount of time a child stays in foster care can vary from as little as a few days to a number of years.
The average time and Alexandria child spends in foster care is one year.
Youth who age out of the foster care system are more likely than their non–foster care peers to be involved with the criminal justice system, have low educational attainment, become pregnant, and experience homelessness.
Foster children attend an average of seven to nine different schools by age 18—80% are held back in school by the third grade. Less than half of foster youth in the nation will graduate from high school and only 2% graduate from college or higher.
Thank you for sharing in this journey. It was a wonderful experience for our moms group & an incredible joy for us to give quilts so freely to these teens.
Lastly, I want to invite you to think about how you can help foster children in your town. Get in touch with a local social worker & chat about how your skills, whatever they are, can help foster kids.
Many thanks to Kathryn Coneway for helping me photograph the quilts & Krystal Fenwick, social worker for the City of Alexandria who provided these facts. And of course, to my mom’s group for coming along on this crazy adventure with me!
It’s time for the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival again!
This year I’m submitting a special quilt that’s part of a larger project I’m working on. This is one of seven quilts I’m making with my Mom’s group for graduating foster teens in the City of Alexandria.
These teens leave the foster system only with the items given to them by a proactive community member who works tirelessly on their behalf.
Nationwide 1/3 of them do not have a high school diploma.
Due to limited work histories, many find it difficult to obtain employment. Those who do typically work in positions where they can easily be exploited or find it difficult to increase their independence.
One day they are considered a child by the state, and the next day they are on their own responsible for everything.
I was drawn to help these teens and I was thrilled when my mom’s group wanted to help! We are sewing string blocks
during nap times, in the evenings, anytime we can grab a few minutes together. These women have newborns & twins, but all of us have babies under two. Once or twice a week we get together at my house & we work while the babies play (ok, & sometimes we play more than work!) I love this project because the string quilts don’t require advanced quilting skills & there’s plenty of work for non-sewers to do! In fact, we can assembly line these blocks easily where one person sews & another presses.
It means a lot to me that these teens receive the quilts. I worked with foster kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Alaska & this is what I know about them:
– These are the easily forgotten.
– They are talented at making themselves invisible.
– They have had their hearts broken numerous times.
– They are beautiful lives that deserve to be made whole again.
These quilts for them. To give them something that will keep them warm- no matter where they are sleeping. To give them something from moms in their community to let them know they are cared about. To give them a reminder that someone has not forgotten about them.
If you’re interested in how to make a difference for foster teens graduating out of your local area- the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
can help you!
Linking up with the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival at Amy’s Creative Side