What is the heart of foster care?

"We will-Welcome you-Cry with you-Comfort you-Teach You-Play with you-Love you-Help you get home"

Our children come from families that are in crisis, thus they need the consistency of a caring home until they can be reunited with their families, placed with relatives, or adopted.

Your ability to provide a safe and nurturing environment is priceless to a child in need of stability and emotional safety. Adoption on the other hand, is a legal, lifelong commitment to a child. About 90% of children adopted from the County's foster care system are adopted by their foster families. We do not have an “adoption only” program, all families are licensed as foster/adoptive parents.

Foster Parent vs. Adoptive Parent

A Foster Parent

  • Cares for a child until the parents can resume responsibility or until a relative or adoptive family can be found
  • Commits to helping a family through a difficult time
  • Carries out decisions made by the agency and/or child’s parents
  • Provides support to ensure the child maintains a relationship with their biological parents
  • Supports the agency’s efforts to reunify the child with their birth parents

An Adoptive Parent

  • Commits to life-long care for the child
  • Assumes parental rights
  • Maintains full financial responsibilities for the child’s care
  • Navigates relationship with biological parents (in an open adoption)

What is the need in Anne Arundel County?

We need Foster Parents!

For every child, the ultimate goal is to reunite the child with their biological parents when possible. We need foster parents who will join our team to ensure children are safe and well cared for while their family works through crisis.

Anne Arundel County has about 120 children at any given time who are in need of foster care placement or adoptive homes. However there are far fewer foster or adoptive parents available to care for these children.

As of July 2023, 123 children were under the care and custody of Anne Arundel County's Department of Social Services. About 60 new children enter into foster care in the County each year.

A couple of men and a little girl

Of the 123 children in our care, over 50% are 12 and older. Less than 5% of new children entering foster care are under 12 months old, and of those, many are born drug exposed. The remaining age range taking up roughly 45% of children in care is 1-11. Many of the children in care are part of a larger sibling group.

As you can see, our greatest need is for foster parents willing to open their homes to teenagers, sibling groups, and medically-fragile infants (especially those who have been born substance exposed).

100% of our children have experienced some form of trauma. Although this trauma may manifest itself in unique ways for each child, even our youngest children will have been impacted.

If all efforts are exhausted and children are unable to return to their biological families, a foster home may become an adoptive home. For the children that need a new permanent home, 90% of our adoptions happen with the original foster family.

Are There Other Ways I Can Help?

Yes! We understand that not everyone wants to be a foster parent. Yet children in foster care and their foster parents need community support. There are many ways that you can help the children in foster care in Anne Arundel County as well as the foster parents themselves. Contact us today to find out how or check out one of our partner agencies to see what volunteer/donation opportunities are available!