Created Equal: Foster care in America from a children’s advocate raised in the system 

Children’s rights attorney and advocate Andrew Bridge joined the show to talk about his experience growing up in foster care and why he says the system needs to be improved.

Andrew Bridge spent 11 years of his childhood in foster care and says the system did more harm than good.

He detailed his story, and the story of his mother is his 2008 book, “Hope’s Boy.” Now, Andrew is writing a new book entitled “The Child Catcher” where he outlines what the foster care system gets wrong and how to fix it.

According to most recent data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), there were nearly 370,000 children in foster care in fiscal year 2022. Of the nearly 109,000 children awaiting adoption during that time period — meaning children in foster care whose parental rights have been terminated and/or children with a case plan goal of adoption — roughly 53,700 were adopted, the report showed.

Over 85% of children available for adoption in FY 2022 were not living in a pre-adoptive home, meaning that many of these children may still be many steps away from achieving permanency.

Approximately 18,500 children aged out of the foster care system during that time period.

Bridge joined Stephen Henderson on Created Equal on Tuesday to share his experience in foster care and to discuss how complicated the system really is.  

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Andrew Bridge is a children’s rights attorney and advocate. He believes the foster care system too often keeps families apart.

“My mom could’ve been allowed in my life so much more. And I think that’s the thing in the work that I do in child welfare today is to understand that parents have so many things to offer. And to wrap our heads around the idea that failures and love can in fact exist side-by-side,” he said. 

Listen to Created Equal with host Stephen Henderson weekdays from 9-10 a.m. ET on 101.9 WDET and streaming on-demand.

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