Each year, more than 23,000 teens age out of the U.S. foster care system. This 17-year-old campaign is trying to change that statistic.
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This year, more than 23,000 young people will leave foster care without a family, aging out of the system before they've been adopted, according to FosterOn. These teens miss out on a variety of benefits: being more likely to finish high school, go to college, and be more emotionally secure than their peers who remain in or age out of foster care without a permanent family. That's just one of the heartbreaking realities that new PSAs from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), AdoptUSKids, and the Ad Council aim to raise awareness around.

The moving PSAs, part of an ongoing campaign that's now in its 17th year, center around the theme "You Can't Imagine the Reward" and are based on real experiences of teens adopted from foster care.

For example, in "Sisters," a foster mom adopts two teen sisters who seem to be "in their own world."

"Duffle" features a foster mom wishing her teen Owen "felt more at home," only to find that he's finally unpacked his bag.

In a press release, Michelle Hillman, Chief Campaign Development Officer of the Ad Council, noted, "The launch of the new PSAs continues the campaign's powerful work of sharing true and inspirational stories of teens adopted from foster care. Teens in foster care deserve love and support regardless of age and these stories show the impact that families truly have on teens adopted from foster care. It is our hope that this work continues to inspire and inform prospective parents of the lifelong rewards that can come from adopting a teen from foster care."

According to the press release, teens (13 to 18 years of age) comprise 21 percent of the youth waiting to be adopted in the foster care system, but account for only 10 percent of those adopted. Teenagers in foster care can face a particularly challenging time getting adopted and may wait up to twice as long to achieve permanency than younger children.

With hope, these heartfelt PSAs will inspire viewers to imagine the reward of welcoming teens into their home.

For more information about adoption, or about becoming an adoptive parent to a child or teen from foster care, visit AdoptUSKids.org or visit the AdoptUSKids social communities on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.