Child abuse and neglect are pervasive in the United States - an urgent crisis hidden in plain sight that contributes to society’s most intractable problems: poverty, school failure, homelessness, and crime. Foster America is a new movement with a strategy for change.

At the heart of Foster America is a fellowship program that attracts talented professionals from a variety of sectors - business, tech, health, and education - and leverages their diverse skills to tackle the child welfare system's most pressing challenges.

Foster America fellows take on full-time leadership roles at government and nonprofit child welfare agencies across the country that share our commitment to systemic change. With our support, fellows lead and innovate on major reform projects that improve the lives of our nation's most vulnerable children.

The Problem

Too few people fall asleep each night dreaming about how they'll make a difference for abused, neglected, and orphaned children when they get up the next morning.

Child abuse and neglect are more prevalent and costly than most people realize. As a society, we entrust our child welfare system—a network of federal, state, and local government agencies—to protect and care for orphaned, abused and neglected children by working to keep them safe, providing services like counseling to their families, and in the worst cases, placing them in foster care. But across all key measures, the outcomes are clear: this system is failing. For example, among former foster youth: 

We can and must do better. Unfortunately, the child welfare system is stretched beyond its expertise and capacity. While some reformers are driving change, they are too few and far between. Further, the complexity of the field combined with civil service rules lead to insularity in the child welfare sector. The talented professionals with the diverse skills needed to address the system’s biggest challenges rarely find an open pipeline to deploy their talents to this critical work. Foster America changes that.

The child welfare system has been stretched beyond its expertise and capacity. While a social work perspective is critical, the system also needs leaders with perspectives from other sectors to address its complex challenges.
— David Sanders, Executive VP Casey Family Programs, Former Child Welfare Agency Director LA & Hennepin Counties

Our Solution

We bring top talent to child welfare, changing the system and making a difference for our nation's most vulnerable children.

Foster America is piloting a new fellowship program that will bring together leaders and innovators from diverse sectors to transform the child welfare system. We believe by attracting new leaders to the child welfare system and giving them the opportunity and support they need to innovate, our nation's most vulnerable children can experience dramatically better results.

Top talent from:





Helping children:

Remain safely at home.

Live with stable, loving families - not in institutions.

Receive quality, consistent casework.

Access education, health, & mental health support.

With sorely-needed skills:

User-centered design

Marketing & customer service

Predictive Analytics

Performance & change management


Our Approach

Four components of our program create deep, lasting impact in child welfare.

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