Since 1999, more than 230,000 youth have transitioned out of foster care without permanent family connections. Almost 30,000 made that transition without a network of support to ensure their success. These youth often do not have the vast amount of skills that many of us take for granted. Things such as balancing a checkbook, obtaining an ID, locating a physician, talking to a landlord, signing a lease or simply refilling a prescription. We at Bridges To The Future long to educate, motivate and inspire these youth to become successful and contributing members of their community. We do not want them to become a statistic.
The following are some sobering statistics that explain our urgency in taking care of the at-risk youth in our communities and the need to “stop the cycle” of poor outcomes for their future:
MURFREESBORO — Bridges to the Future, a newly formed nonprofit benefitting children of the Rutherford County foster care system, needs help from the community in order to host a Christmas party on Dec. 3 for resource families.
“We are in current need of donations in order to purchase gifts and Bibles, provide dinner and dessert, pictures with Santa. It takes about $20 to sponsor a child and their foster family for the evening,” says Kandra Benton, Bridges charter member who adopted two girls with her husband, Stephen Benton. Another agency hosted the holiday party in years past, but Bridges to the Future...
Bridges to the Future was an idea that started after one family became resource parents, saw a need amongst the youth in the system and prayed about a way to help and get others involved. When teens age out of the foster care system, they need continued support from loving and caring mentors in the community. It is incredibly important for teens when they are making choices about their future such as; finding employment, furthering their education and locating housing. Those children that grow up in a family depend on their parents to guide them as they navigate...Read more
The mission of Bridges to the Future is to identify at risk youth in the community through the Department of Children Services, Private Providers and other community partners. Bridges to the Future will engage these young people to build skills and knowledge that will insure a successful transition into adulthood. Bridges to the Future will wrap services and a support system around these youth that will help them achieve their hopes, dreams and goals. Bridges to the Future will match each youth with an appropriate mentor to partner in each endeavor and to ensure accountability and support from an independent relationship.Read more
We began the process to adopt our now 12 year old daugther from foster care when she was ten years old. God brought us together after she had been in the foster care system, and in two other pre-adoptive homes, since she was seven. Knowing how difficult futures could be for children who grow up and age out of foster care without a family, my husband and I knew we could change that for child by giving them a loving, stable, secure home with a forever family that would always love and support them. It wasnt always easy, there are many challenging days behind us, but now it is amazing to see our beautiful daughter thriving in ways she never would have if she had continued to be bounced around from foster home to foster home. She just made the honor roll at school, has just finished her first season playing on her school's soccer team and is making good friends. We feel so thankful that this blessing God brought into our lives will now not grow up and risk being one of the negative statistics of children who grow up and then age out of foster care.
Shannon - Foster Parent