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Keeping Kids Safe: A Spotlight on Crimes That Often Target Youth in Foster Care

 

Credit: Getty Images

Our team of everyday superheroes, also known as Upbring foster parents, have opened their homes, hearts and families to the children we serve through Foster In Texas because they, like all of us at Upbring, are working to break the cycle of child abuse.

The physical, spiritual and emotional well-being of our Texas children is a top priority at Upbring and we want to make sure our communities are aware of three surprising, but prevalent, crimes that disproportionately affect youth in foster care. LifeLock recently shared some statistics about protecting all children from cybercrimes and in honor of National Foster Care Month, we are sharing them with you.

Cyberbullying:

Sadly, bullying at schools has been a serious issue for decades, but the current generation of youth are now also vulnerable to cyberbullying. Approximately 1/3 of students ages 12-17 say they’ve been cyberbullied because of their appearance, academic performance or race

According to stopbullying.gov, kids who are bullied are more likely to experience:

  • Depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy. These issues may persist into adulthood.
  • Decreased academic achievement—GPA and standardized test scores—and school participation. They are more likely to miss, skip or drop out of school.

Kids who bully others can also engage in violence and other risky behaviors into adulthood. Kids who bully are more likely to:

  • Abuse alcohol and other drugs in adolescence and as adults
  • Get into fights, vandalize property and drop out of school
  • Have criminal convictions and traffic citations as adults
  • Be abusive toward their romantic partners, spouses or children as adults

How to Help

 

Cyberstalking:

Used as a method to exploit/extort vulnerable individuals for private or sensitive information, youth who experience some form of cyberstalking may:

  • Feel vulnerable, unsafe and not know who to trust.
  • Feel anxious, irritable, impatient or on edge.
  • Feel depressed, hopeless, overwhelmed, tearful or angry.
  • Feel stressed, including having trouble concentrating, sleeping or remembering things.
  • Have eating problems, such as appetite loss, forgetting to eat or overeating.

According to victimsofcrime.org, persons aged 18-24 years experience the highest rate of stalking – placing those who age out of foster care without a support system at a greater risk.

How to Help

 

Identity Theft:

In total, more than 1 million children in the United States below the age of 19 have had their identity stolen, accounting for nearly 4% of all reported claims. In recent years, it’s become apparent that, although extremely difficult to accurately measure, children in foster care have a high number of reported identity theft incidents.

Unfortunately, both accidental and intentional breaches of information do happen, and as the majority of victims are below the borrowing age of 18 and infrequently check on the safety of their personal information, child identity theft can go unnoticed for many years, making it extremely appealing to criminals seeking financial gains.

How to Help

 

Keeping our Foster In Texas kids safe means remaining aware of not only the risks they may face, but also the ways we can take action – together – to help avoid issues that may cause long-term physical, mental and financial damage.

Learn more about Foster In Texas at www.wefosterhere.org

Disclaimer: This blog includes infographics assembled by LifeLock. This post is not an endorsement of their brand or products. This was not a paid or sponsored collaboration.

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