Nevada Countyand#8217;s iFoster Goes Viral: Helping raise 150,000 children in foster care in its first three months | SierraSun.com
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Nevada Countyand#8217;s iFoster Goes Viral: Helping raise 150,000 children in foster care in its first three months

Special to the Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; iFoster announced its online community is improving the lives of more than 150,000 children in foster care across 48 states.

On any day, more than 500,000 children, removed from their homes due to abuse, violence or neglect, are raised in a system under-funded and stretched beyond capacity.

Most people outside of the foster care community are not aware of the size of the issue right in their own backyards. In Nevada County and Placer Counties alone, there are approximately 350 children in foster care.

iFoster is an online community working to aggregate the resources needed by the people who step up to raise these children. Not just in our community, but in communities like ours across the nation.

Often placed outside of their community, subjected to multiple placements, and with more than 20,000 aging-out annually, the lives of these children are too often tragic. More than 80 percent who never find a permanent home end up living in poverty, prison, homeless, or as struggling young parents.

iFoster is changing this dynamic through an online community that provides support, information, and leverages the strength of billions of dollars in purchasing power and millions of voices to benefit these children.

Serita Cox, iFosterand#8217;s co-founder, said: and#8220;iFoster is approaching the issues in foster care from an entirely new direction. Until now, the heroic people raising and supporting these children have been isolated from each other. We are breaking through the barriers and bringing together this large and passionate community to improve the lives and futures for all children in foster care.and#8221;

In October, 2010, iFoster launched its marketplace to close the funding gap for basic needs in foster care. The government currently provides only 64 percent of the cost of basic needs for each child in foster care. The marketplace leverages the $3 billion-plus in purchasing power spent on basic needs to negotiate discounts and stretch limited funds farther. As iFosterand#8217;s membership grows, so does the communityand#8217;s purchasing power.

Later this year, iFoster will launch a knowledge center to aggregate relevant information about the foster care system, raising children and services available regionally. Social media functionality will enable the community to support each other as well as share, recommend and rate information, services and discounts they find most valuable. In aggregate, iFoster enables the development of a vibrant community with a collective voice millions strong to improve the system.

and#8212; Reid Cox, Co-founder, iFoster, reid@ifoster.org

iFoster, a nonprofit launched in October 2010, seeks to improve the lives of all children in foster care. Visit http://www.ifoster.org. Available for free to the foster care community, from caregivers (foster/guardian/kinship/adoptive families), to the organizations that support foster children, and emancipated foster youth.


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