With World Refugee Day last month, and May being National Foster Care Month, now is the perfect time to bring more awareness to the increasing number of migrant children entering the foster care system within the U.S.

Of the 10,000s of referrals the Office of Refugee Resettlement receives every year for migrant children to be placed in foster care, almost 5,000 enter the system, in addition to the almost 500,000 U.S.-born children in foster care.

While the reasons these children are entering the system vary, 1 thing is certain: The risks associated with aging out of the system are even higher for migrant children, especially those of color.

According to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, on average, more than 68% of migrant children without parents or guardians who came to the U.S. from 2014 and 2018 were between the ages of 15 to 17 years old.

In most states, once a child turns 18, they are no longer considered a ward of the state, and depending on a child’s immigration or asylum status, a child may be more likely to experience a lack of educational opportunities, homelessness and unemployment.

Funders have the power to change the lives of these children facing such complex issues, enlarged by their legal status and racial background, by:

  • Funding advocacy efforts.
  • Promoting youth-led organizing.
  • Designate more funding towards migrant children of color.

Read the full article about migrant children in foster care by Sabrina Laverty at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.