-for foster kids, the best gift is a place to call ‘home’ for the holidays-
For most, the holidays are a time to celebrate with family. For some young people in our community, however,there is simply no family to go home to. Lad Lake, an organization that provides support for some of our community’s most vulnerable youth, is working to make sure foster kids have the support they need during the holiday season.
“Unfortunately, each year in Wisconsin, there are as many as 450 foster kids who turn 18 without ever being adopted. That means these young people don’t have a family in the most traditional sense of the word… and that can be especially difficult during this time of year” explains Dan Magnuson, CEO of Lad Lake.
According to a 2012 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report, nearly 40% of teens who turn 18 without ever having been adopted become homeless. But child welfare professionals have recognized that when youth have a safe and nurturing place to go over the holidays, young people are less at-risk of becoming homeless.
So, as part of Lad Lake’s ongoing support for these young people, the organization is creating a “home” for the holidays at its Milwaukee campus. Dedicated staff and volunteers are hosting pre-holiday gatherings, and working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so that teens can celebrate with some of the people they are closest to – and who treat them like family.