According to ChildWelfare.gov, there are “over 407,000 children and youth in foster care, and 34 percent were placed with relatives or kin.” In many cases, a family member is the first person that agencies seek when they’re looking to home a child in the foster care system. However, this is not always possible.
May is Foster Care Awareness month, which is when the Children’s Bureau works to recognize foster parents, families, volunteers, adoption and foster professionals, and others involved in the entire foster process. There are many things that you can learn about this month as well as finding ways to provide support and raise awareness for children and youth in foster care, as well as foster parents and professionals that work in the child welfare system.
Raising Foster Care Awareness
There are often stigmas and false information around foster care. It is always good to learn more to raise awareness. Also, families seeking to adopt sometimes hear that foster care is a cheaper way to adopt and fail to understand that the purpose of foster care is to reunite families. If you don’t know a lot about foster care, there are multiple resources as well as events in local communities that work tirelessly to raise awareness and find those interested in fostering.
Raising awareness about foster care is crucial because there are children in need, and there are people who may be a good fit to be a foster parent but haven’t received relevant information. To learn more about how you can raise awareness, here are some key facts about foster care that are good talking points!
Make sure to look out for local events in May that you can share on social media and attend to support foster care initiatives and agencies in your community.
Providing Supplies and Support for Foster Families
It is well established that foster families often need support, from resources to places to get their needs met, as well as items that the child that they foster may not have.
Children in the foster care system all have unique needs depending on their situation and how they came to another family member or foster home. They may need access to therapy or counseling, special medical treatment, and may have visitations with their families. Sometimes babysitting and transportation can be helpful to those families. Though these families may not reach out for help, offer it anyway.
For more ways to help foster parents, read this article.