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May is National Foster Care Month

May is National Foster Care Month, a time to recognize the nearly 413,000 youth under 18 who are in foster care in America and who need a permanent, loving family.

This year’s theme, “Empowering Caregivers, Strengthening Families,” acknowledges resource families — which include foster parents, foster-to-adopt families and relative/kinship caregivers — as critical partners in the foster care process.

There are many ways to get involved in activities and events that will take place around the country. For example, you can:

  • Explore the Children’s Bureau website, which offers information and resources for parents, youth, foster parents and caregivers, tribes, communities and child welfare professionals.
  • Read and share stories on the National Foster Care Month Facebook page, which also includes listings of planned events.
  • Wear a blue ribbon pin signifying your support of children in foster care, available through FosterClub.
  • Learn about FosterMore, a coalition of not-for-profit organizations and foundations working to raise awareness of youth in foster care. FosterMore plans to release public service announcements that will air across the ABC network and affiliate stations in May. Titled “Because you were there,” the announcements will celebrate all the ways that adults have helped support children and their families.
  • Take at least one action that helps improve the lives of children in foster care, such as mentoring a youth or providing internships at your workplace. The Children’s Bureau offers these resources for communities to help you get started.

National Foster Care Month was first established in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan. Since that time, it has helped the nation recognize the work of foster families, social workers, faith-based and community organizations, and others who are improving the lives of young people in foster care — and encouraged all Americans to participate in efforts to support these children.