May is National Foster Care Month—a time to acknowledge the 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. It is also a time to focus on ways to create a bright future for the more than 400,000 children and youth in foster care.
The Children’s Bureau—together with its information service, Child Welfare Information Gateway, the National Resource Center for Youth Services; Foster Club; the National Association of State Foster Care Managers; the National Foster Parent Association; and a host of other partners—supports National Foster Care Month through a website.
This year, the theme for National Foster Care Month is "Get to Know the Many Faces of Foster Care." The website provides resources about supporting youth, foster families, kinship care providers, and professionals and offers ways to plan for the appropriate placement of children and youth, including youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ), pregnant and parenting, and Tribal youth. Access the resources at https://www.childwelfare.gov/fostercaremonth/resources/.
Storytelling is a powerful way to connect real-life scenarios to important practice issues. Each year, the National Foster Care Month website features real-life stories of children, youth, and families that can help child welfare workers, managers, training staff, and others engage audiences in a variety of settings. From training to recruitment, these inspiring stories are great tools for gaining perspective and highlighting the role each of us has in enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care. View the stories at https://www.childwelfare.gov/fostercaremonth/reallifestories/.
There are a number of tools you can use to help promote National Foster Care Month. Check them out at https://www.childwelfare.gov/fostercaremonth/promote/.
Want to contact colleagues in other States to learn about their foster care policies? Access to State officials and other foster care information is available through the State Foster Care Contacts map. Take time during National Foster Care Month to get to know your colleagues across the country and learn about their work. View State Foster Care Contacts at https://www.childwelfare.gov/fostercaremonth/more/contacts/.
Throughout its history, the Children's Bureau has worked to assist children and youth in 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 at https://www.childwelfare.gov/fostercaremonth/more/about.cfm.
Learn more about the history of the Children's Bureau on its centennial website at https://cb100.acf.hhs.gov/.