That’s why — as the largest nonprofit provider of comprehensive foster care in Massachusetts — we work to recruit, train, and support loving foster homes. And we ensure that the children and teens in our care receive the resources, supports and opportunities that they deserve.
But this calls for our collective attention.
In a nation where every child is supposed to have a fair shot at success, HopeWell seeks to lead the charge and deliver on this promise for children and youth experiencing foster care. It’s the right thing to do. It’s the smart thing to do.
HopeWell's foster parents help change the world, one child at a time. With nearly 60 years of experience guiding us, we are happy to answer your questions, explain the process, and provide specifics about the supports we provide our amazing community of foster parents.
We envision a future where we have eliminated the disparities that exist between children and youth who have experienced foster care and those who have not.
By just about every objective metric, children experiencing foster care represent our country’s most systemically marginalized group of young people. Life outcomes for this population lag behind their peers in virtually every category. For example:
Each year, approximately 9,000 children and teens experience foster care in Massachusetts. Another 600-900 “age out” of the system without the support of a permanent family as they launch into adulthood. The systemic inequities these young people face accumulate and compound throughout their lives.
Education disparities start early and can have lifelong effects. For example, third-graders experiencing foster care face one of the largest educational inequities among any group of students in Massachusetts — in 2021, just 26 percent were on-track in reading, compared to 56 percent of third-graders overall. In 2022, these numbers dropped to 18 percent and 44 percent respectively.
Even though more than 70 percent of young people who have experienced foster care report having college-related dreams and goals, less than 5 percent will achieve a post-secondary degree, compared to 52 percent of the U.S. population overall.
By age 24, nearly 40 percent of youth who have “aged out” of foster care will experience some form of homelessness. Approximately 50 percent will be unemployed, compared to just 25 percent of their peers.
By age 26, approximately 70 percent of men who exited foster care as legal adults will have been arrested at least once.