Many children who enter Allendale’s
care come from traumatic backgrounds. Physical abuse, neglect, and
abandonment have shadowed their lives and taken a toll on their
physical and mental health. Understandably, the children can be
afraid, angry, confused, and heartbroken.
Not one of these children should be left
behind. Even with the scars of illness or tragedy, children can
heal, grow, and contribute. They deserve a future. Allendale’s
goal is to give them one. With the help of a few special foster
families, we can.
Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
It’s not easy for children to grow and mature; it never was.
Today it’s even tougher.
||One in seven children has some type
of learning disorder.
||Seven million young people
in the U.S. suffer from mental
||One behavioral disorder, Oppositional
Defiant Disorder (ODD)— an ongoing pattern of uncooperative,
defiant, and hostile behavior toward authority figures—affects
five to 15 percent of all school-age children.
||Among adolescents ages 15 to 19,
suicide is the second leading cause of death.
||Over a million children are abused
or neglected by a parent or close relative. Thousands die.
The Average Allendale Child
The children in residential treatment today are likely to be far
more disturbed than those who needed protective services twenty
||They do not trust adults.
||They yearn instinctively for family
life, but struggle with its intensity.
||They do not behave well enough to
attend public school.
||Some have been exposed in utero to
crack and other drugs.
||Some suffer from other health problems.
How a Child Arrives at Allendale
Some of Allendale’s kids come to residential treatment from
the Department of Child and Family Services after multiple foster
placements. Sometimes they’ve been in the foster care system
so long there isn’t even a paper trail back to their biological
Many come from homes so unsafe that parental rights have been terminated
in court; in other cases, repeated foster placements have left the
child ill-suited for a return to his or her biological family. Often
the children have been failed by adults so regularly that, in self-defense,
they attempt to sabotage any new relationship.
The last thing Allendale wants to do is resume these cycles of violence
and betrayal. That’s why we need foster parents who are completely
committed to caring for our children.
The remaining percentage of Allendale’s children come to us
for help coping with psychological trauma or a behavioral disorder
that needs residential treatment. Many of these children eventually
return to their intact biological families.
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