11/23/2017

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National Foster Care Month

When you provide foster care, you become an important part of a child's life. You provide the love and stability that their biological parents, for whatever the reasons, cannot give.

In 1988, the National Foster Parent Association persuaded Senator Strom Thurman of South Carolina to introduce a resolution to Congress proclaiming the month of May as National Foster Care Month. Afterwards, President George H. W. Bush issued a proclamation each year he was in office and since then, each sitting President has issued proclamations of their own.

National Foster Care Month acknowledges and celebrates the people who volunteer their time, homes, money, and other resources to provide safe and secure environments for children who are displaced from their immediate families. Foster care enables these young people to find a stable place to live until they can either reunite with their families or establish another relationship in a home with nurturing adults.

Children may be placed in foster care for any number of reasons including neglect, abandonment, mental, physical, and/or sexual abuse. Their parents may not be mentally or physically able to take care of them or they may be on drugs, in jail or prison, or they may be dead.

Foster care is designed to be a temporary solution with children visiting with their families until they are permanently reunited. If the children are not reunited with their biological mother and/or father, other family members are contacted to see if they will provide a home for them. If this does not work out, the children may be left in foster care for many years.

If a child/children cannot be reunited with their biological parents or family, they may be placed in the care of foster parents permanently, adopted, or put in a group home. The hope is that the child will get a permanent place to live and not be moved from home to home.

Without a federal, state, and/or locally regulated foster care system, many children would end up living on the streets. They would grow up uneducated, malnourished, in poor health, and subject to the abuses of criminal elements that thrive on taking advantage of those who don't have strong parental figures that they can rely on for support.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of children who, by no fault of their own, are forced to live away from the love and comfort of their biological parents. This is where foster care comes into play. Foster parents, mentors, and support networks are needed to help keep these children safe and sound. This includes government and private agencies, religious institutions, and non-profit organizations. They all try to make a positive impact on the lives of foster children.

The month of May, National Foster Care Month, is set aside to bring much needed recognition and praise for the great work that is done by case workers, foster parents, politicians, and support groups who work tirelessly to help foster children of all ages, from new born babies to young adults make successful transitions into adulthood.

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