National Foster Care Month
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A Time of Transformation
May is a month of growth and renewal. Winter has come and gone, and spring is soon to give way to summer. It’s a wonderful time of year where change is abundant in the world and new life is springing up all around us.
Perhaps this is the reason why every May is set aside for National Foster Care Month. Being in foster care is a huge life transition for a child and a foster parent can have a positive effect on them. Foster parents serve as a logistical solution to a child in need of a home. But for the child, a foster parent can be so much more.
Foster parents can provide a solid foundation for a child whose world is full of instability. Most of the children who end up in foster care are there because they came from unhealthy living environments and weren’t safe at home. Foster parents can help these developing minds and hearts that are in need of love and direction. They can also provide a crucial support system for a child that might not have anyone else they can go to.
National Foster Care Month is a time to celebrate and honor those who have opened their doors and hearts to helping children in need of a home. This takes great strength, flexibility, and endless amounts of compassion.
Those Willing to Give Back
This month is also about inspiring those who might consider fostering themselves. According to the official press release from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, there are:
“Nearly 400,000 children in the United States are in foster care. Most will be reunited with their families or find a permanent home through kinship care, guardianship, or adoption. However, it also is important to remember that each year approximately 24,000 youth “age out” of foster care without a permanent legal family.”
Aging out is when a child has passed the age where they can be considered a ward of the state and are then fully responsible for taking care of themselves. Most states consider 18 to be the age at which someone in foster care has become “too old” to adopt.
Unfortunately, many teens are not emotionally, financially, or developmentally mature enough to care for themselves at this young age. Going out into the world without a family to fall back on for support or guidance, many of these children are at great risk of being incarcerated, experiencing unplanned pregnancies, or facing unemployment.
A Program for Change
For a child in foster care, adoption by a loving and supportive family isn’t just helpful. It could make the difference between life and death for these children. Because of this, we have been developing a Concurrent Foster Care Program.
In this Foster Care program, HOPE would work hard to promote permanency and eliminate disruption issues. When a child enters into foster care, it’s possible for them to move in and out of several households before uniting with a permanent home.
As you might imagine, every time a child enters a new environment, the emotional and physical stress can be traumatic. These children are prone to developing attachment issues, making it difficult to place them in future homes, while increasing the amount of disruptions, or adoptions that fall through and require the child to return to foster care.
HOPE is looking to attract foster parents who would consider concurrent foster care, where the children are in their care until they can be reunited with their biological family. However, if reunification isn’t possible, the foster parents would agree to adopt the children. This type of commitment takes strength, but it’s a way to ensure that only two families are involved in a child’s life, diminishing the stress and heartbreak of being “shuffled” between homes.
A Way to Help
If you, or someone you know is considering becoming a Foster Care provider or would be interested in learning more about Concurrent Foster Care, we are here to help. Visit our Training and Support Page to register for an information session that will help you understand what it takes to foster.
You can also ask us any questions you might have by visiting our Contact Us page and filling out the form.