May Is National Foster Care Month
May is National Foster Care Month (NFCM), a time to acknowledge the foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, community members, child welfare professionals, and policymakers who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections. This year, the Children’s Bureau (CB) presents the theme "It's All Relative: Supporting Kinship Connections," recognizing the incredible contributions kinship caregivers make in caring for children, maintaining family connections and supporting the reunification of families.
The CB supports NFCM through a dedicated website that offers comprehensive information and tips for parents, youth, kinship caregivers, foster parents, guardians, tribes, communities, and child welfare professionals. It also shares the real-life stories of the diverse faces of kinship care, such as a retirement-age couple who assumes care of their three young grandchildren while their daughter enters addiction recovery treatment and a young graduate who defers her professional advancement to care for her niece. These powerful stories illustrate how supportive networks can strengthen kinship and foster families and improve outcomes for children and families. In addition, a “spread the word section” offers a toolkit to help child welfare professionals and community advocates engage the public through outreach and social media activities.
This year's website provides resources and tips such as:
- For kinship caregivers, including how and where to find support (state kinship care contacts and kinship navigator programs) and resources for both formal and informal kinship care
- For all caregivers — relative and nonrelative — relative and nonrelative, including information on caring for children and youth who have experienced abuse or neglect, how to access support, how to support reunification, how to build relationships with a child's permanency team, and how to help youth transition to adulthood
- For parents, including information on incarceration, courts, reunification, and planning for permanency, and parent support and advocacy groups
- For youth, including what they can expect in kinship or foster care, how to find support and stay involved in permanency planning, and toolkits and survival guides on the transition out of care
- For communities, including how to build collaborative relationships, outreach, and social media tools for engaging community groups and organization members
Children and families benefit enormously when kinship care is a success. Learn how to connect the resource families in your community with the help they need to succeed at the National Foster Care Month website.