“The success of our country tomorrow depends on the well-being of our children today. During National Foster Care Month, we lift up our Nation’s foster children, celebrate the selfless men and women who embrace children in the foster care system, and we recommit to helping more children find permanency so they can feel stable, grounded, and free to fulfill their limitless potential.” – Barack Obama
So, happy National Foster Care Month to all youth, parents, caregivers, and more! To celebrate appropriately, it is only accurate to explain the history behind Foster Care Month and why it is important to us all. National Foster Care Month is absolutely a time to rejoice and be grateful to all of those who work with foster care children. It is a time to not only celebrate, but also put our focus to children who are waiting in foster homes for a solid and permanent adoptive family. Along with foster children waiting for a home, we also keep in mind those adolescents who are aging out of the system when they turn 18. It is important to gain knowledge and spread awareness on this topic in order to improve solidified foster families and benefit those who are seeking those families. All in all, let us celebrate and continually be in remembrance of the touching opportunity we have every day (and especially this month) to change lives for the better!
Facts about Foster Care:
- It all began in 1988, when Senator Strom Thurmond, with the encouragement from the National Foster Care Association, introduced a resolution to proclaim May as National Foster Care Month.
- Over 400,000 children remain in the foster care system.
- Tens of thousands of youth age out of foster care before they find their forever family Only half of children in foster care complete high school by age 18 and less than 5 percent graduate college.
- Young people who age out of foster care without a permanent home are often at higher risk of entering the criminal justice system, and they can face greater challenges to completing an education, obtaining high-quality health care, and securing gainful employment.
- Difficult outcomes of foster care children are often exaggerated further when they are placed in group homes.
Tips to Surviving Foster Care Parenting:
- Your child is a child (regardless of background). They will act out, scream, fuss, and often be ignorant to rules. Keep in mind that they have been exposed to abnormal childhood memories. If they act out, use alternate methods to keep their behavior on track. Restrict punishment from being too harsh. Children just need a little love.
- Remember their birthdays and other special memories! They need to be shown that their life matters (especially to their newfound family).
- Don’t be afraid to talk about biological parents only if your child wants to. Make sure to be honest and open with them.
- Make positive and fun incentives for your foster child when they achieve good behavior!
- Don’t give up on your child. Keep in mind that these children are affected every time they are dumped and moved to a new home. Try to keep them as long as you can!
“Presidential Proclamation — National Foster Care Month, 2016.” The White House. The White House, 28 Apr. 2016. Web. 18 May 2016.
“The History of National Foster Care Month.” About.com Parenting. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2016.