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National Foster Care Month is an initiative of the Children’s Bureau. Each May, we take time to acknowledge foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections. We use this time to renew our commitment to ensuring a bright future for the more than 437,0001 children and youth in foster care, and celebrate those who make a meaningful difference in their lives.
Click to find additional information about the National Foster Care Month initiative, including information about the Children’s Bureau’s commitment to prioritizing foster care as a service to families and promoting reunification.
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Together with its information service, Child Welfare Information Gateway, and a host of other Federal, State, and local partners, the Children’s Bureau builds awareness for National Foster Care Month through a dedicated website which includes resources, real-life stories, and outreach tools to help you spread awareness at the State and local level. Read the Children’s Bureau message to learn more about the agency’s commitment to the initiative and to strengthening the capacity of families to nurture and provide for the well-being of their children.
Throughout its history, the Children's Bureau has worked to assist parents, children, and youth involved with foster care; engage youth in decisions that affect their lives; and support foster families, kinship caregivers, child welfare professionals, and others who help these children. Learn more about how this work led to the establishment of the National Foster Care Month initiative.
Resources on the National Foster Care Month website emphasize this year’s theme of foster care being a support to families and not a substitute for parents. With an aim to help child welfare professionals develop strategies for implementing family voices into the permanency planning process as well as strategies to encourage collaboration between parents and foster parents, the community, and the courts and related professionals, these resources showcase how the foster care system holistically supports reunification and long term family stabilization. View the resources.
Each year, the National Foster Care Month website features real-life stories from families, youth, and caseworkers in which they share their experiences with foster care. These inspiring narratives and videos are a powerful way to connect people's experiences with foster care to important practice issues and can be used as a tool for training new child welfare professionals, recruiting and training foster parents, and enhancing State and local media and awareness campaigns for National Foster Care Month. View the stories.
There are a number of tools in the Spread the Word section of this website you can use to help promote National Foster Care Month in your community. Here you can find:
Also view examples of National Foster Care Month proclamations issued by various levels of government. Visit the Children’s Bureau and Child Welfare Information Gateway Facebook pages to view easily sharable posts and learn about new initiatives, resources, and events going on across the country.
The National Foster Care Month Community Engagement page highlights what States and local communities are doing across the country to recognize National Foster Care Month and encourages community members to get involved. Visit to view sample National Foster Care Month proclamations, State-specific contact information for child welfare leaders across the country, and examples of child welfare agencies that are integrating parent and youth voice into their work in order to create a thriving community and positive outcomes for families. Also visit our events page on Facebook to post your own and learn about National Foster Care Month events going on near your hometown!
1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children's Bureau. (2019). The AFCARS report: Preliminary estimates for FY 2017 as of August 22, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/afcars-report-26