Fri, Aug 25, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Foster homes face cash crunch, lack of adoptive parents

By Max Hirsch  /  STAFF REPORTER

Foster homes are falling on hard times as more and more foster children fail to meet the stringent criteria for prospective adoptive parents, according to the Child Welfare League Foundation.

The foundation launched a fundraising campaign yesterday to support cash-strapped foster homes nationwide, and raise awareness about the difficulties of finding permanent homes for foster children.

"Matching foster children with foster parents has always been a difficult process, but with more abandoned children from foreign workers and Aboriginal families, the process has become especially difficult in the last few years," said Chen Ya-hui (陳雅惠), a foundation spokeswoman.

According to a foundation press release, foster homes face five challenges in finding families willing to take in foster children. The number one problem is the conservative attitude of prospective adoptive parents, the report said, adding that such parents were often unwilling to adopt children with a foreign or Aboriginal heritage, or who came from broken families.

Other challenges included adopting out children older than three years of age.

In the foster care business, three years of age is a threshold beyond which parents are often unwilling to adopt, as a toddler's first three years of life represent a vital developmental phase, according to the release.

With more children in foster care institutions, their care is becoming a heavy financial burden for the nation's foster homes, Chen said.

The foundation will be hosting fundraising activities at the SOGO department store in Hsinchu on Sept. 2, and at the New York, New York shopping square in Taipei's Xinyi District on Sept. 9 to help ease that burden.

Celebrities will be on hand to host auctions and sign autographs at the events, the release said.

The foundation has also teamed up with Far EasTone Telecommunications (FET) to raise money for foster children's care. FET will offer a Universal Music Group-produced CD of various renditions of He's Got the Whole World in His Hands performed by local music celebrities which will be available at 7-Eleven convenience stores. All proceeds from the CDs will go to foster homes.

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