National Foster Care Day

Lefty Graves

May is National Foster Care Month, and what better way to kick off National Foster Care Month than a day set aside dedicated to the children in the foster care system. The first Tuesday in May is set aside to encourage the children in foster care and encourage the foster parents who are showing their support to these children.

No one will argue that the Foster Care System is plagued with struggles. There are issues with the system, from shortages of foster care parents and families to shortages of social workers. Many children enter the foster care system with nothing more than the clothes they were wearing when they were removed from their homes.

People don’t get into foster care to become wealthy. Foster parenting is hard work, and there are many struggles that foster families go through. Foster parents don’t make a lot of money when they have foster children placed with them. Many of them receive little to no financial help when they have a foster child.

Over 400,000 children are working their way through the foster care system at any given time. Approximately one child is placed into a foster home every 2 minutes. Unfortunately, these children may have nothing when they arrive at their foster home.

Some foster parents plan ahead and have an emergency kit. Even a new toothbrush and a soft blanket and pillow will help to make a foster child feel safer. However, there are so many things that foster children don’t have that other children may take for granted.

If you can’t be a foster parent, you may wish to consider donating supplies to a group that helps to support foster parents. There are other ways to help as well. You can volunteer your time at a community center or a local shelter. You’ll have to undergo a background check before you’re allowed to help, but it’s a great way to help make the world just a little bit brighter for a foster child.

National Foster Care Day is set aside to help shine the light on these children and help find solutions for their needs. Unfortunately, not all foster children are in a safe home. Some older teens will run away and live on the streets, become statistics, be sold into trafficking, or worse.

Workers, counselors, guardians, advocates, and even foster parents strive to work together to make the world safer and better for these foster children. The goal is to focus on improving the lives of these children by focusing on their emotional and physical needs and their long-term educational goals, and their health.

Many foster children have never been to the dentist, had a vaccination, or even eaten a healthy meal daily. In addition, many foster children don’t have a change of clothes or a warm bed to sleep in at night. Foster children have many obstacles to overcome. To overcome these obstacles, they will require the love and support of their foster family and many specialists whose goal is to ensure that these children graduate from high school and don’t fall through the cracks of the system.

How Can You Help?

  • With over 250,000 children in the foster care system, you can become a court-appointed special advocate or CASA worker. CASA workers receive special training, and they help represent the best interest of the children who are abused or neglected. A CASA worker is a volunteer position.
  • Help mentor youth or tutor a foster child. Currently, only about 50 percent of foster children graduate high school, and even less of those children will go on to a college education.
  • Extend a foster child’s stay past the age of 18. Approximately 1 out of every five foster children will become homeless within the first year of aging out of foster care.
  • If you have room in your home, consider becoming a foster parent. They have special classes that you can take to help you prepare to become a licensed foster parent. Helping a foster care child become their potential is rewarding in and of itself.
  • Don’t judge. Many of the foster girls that are aged 17 to 18 are pregnant. Instead of judging them, help them learn to be good parents and navigate the system with them to learn how to be great parents.
  • How will you celebrate National Foster Care Day? Are you a foster parent? Were you a foster child? Please share your story with us in the comment section.


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Lefty has been writing online since 2000 on various topics, including youth mentoring, addiction, parenting, gardening, advocating for seniors, sustainability, farming & more. She resides on a farm with her family in Northeastern Washington state.

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