Originally founded in Austin, TX in 2016, Foster Village is led by experienced foster parents, child development experts, child welfare advocates and a board made up of passionate and diverse community professionals. Foster Village Memphis was founded in 2020 and is led by an experienced social worker with first hand experience from the frontlines of foster care social work.
Foster Village Memphis was started out of a passion to eliminate the luxury status of support for foster parents. First hand experience and understanding allows our director to connect with families in ways that help them feel empowered and part of a larger mission.
At Foster Village, we have a deep understanding of how the system works, why children end up in the child welfare system and the challenges foster families face. Though we offer practical support and resources, we also address the root causes at work in the child welfare system and work towards a future where no family or child lacks the support they need to thrive.
There are over 400,000 children in the foster care system in the United States today with an average of 1,200 children in care daily in Shelby County. Because of the instability often associated with foster care, being in foster care is a pipeline to some of our most critical social issues:
- Former foster youth account for roughly 50% of our homeless population and 80% of human trafficking victims.
- 80% of foster youth suffer from PTSD and depression.
- 90% of youth with five or more placements enter the criminal justice system.
- Half of all licensed foster homes quit after their first placement, leading to increased instability for foster youth.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Foster youth are bright, capable, resilient kids, and when they are given nurturing environments to grow up in, the tools they need to succeed and a community of support, they are empowered to overcome adversity and become who they are created to be.
To come alongside children and families in the child welfare system and show them that they are not alone.
90% of surveyed foster and kinship families report that the services provided by Foster Village were a sustaining factor in their ability to continue fostering.
Bringing Dignity to the System: The child welfare system is often cold and utilitarian, addressing a problem but not meeting emotional needs or fixing the root causes that create the problem in the first place. We strive to bring dignity to the children and families we serve, understanding the root causes of why a child ends up in the foster care system and facilitating relationships between foster families and biological families when it is healthy and possible. We understand that isolation and disconnect are the real villains, and we are here to make sure no one feels alone.
Holistic Approach: Everything we do is trauma-informed and developmentally appropriate, creating safe, loving spaces for children in foster care and their families. We understand the context around the child welfare system, including the causes and effects of foster care and the social framework that has created the system. Though our work is focused on hands-on support of families today, we seek to create a better future for our community’s vulnerable children by intentionally addressing the gaps in the system.
Sustained Care: High burnout and turnover rates among foster families are common, and this creates even more instability for foster children as they are moved from home to home. 90% of the families we serve cite the support they receive from Foster Village as one of the primary reasons they are able to keep fostering.
Inclusive Community: Everyone is welcome in our village. We serve foster families, kinship caregivers, and biological parents and welcome volunteers from all backgrounds.
“I think Foster Village uniquely understands and supports the WHOLE family - the foster family, relatives, and biological family, and understands the tensions and complexities of doing that. It is not "us vs. them" to Foster Village. These children and families are connected to us, and we are connected to them. The best outcomes for everyone happen when we realize there is no enemy, and the healing power of love. Foster Village exemplifies that. - Foster Mom