May is National Foster Care Month, a time to recognize that we can each play a part in enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care. Starting in 1988, U.S. Presidents issued annual proclamations in recognition of National Foster Care Month to show appreciation and gratitude to foster parents across the nation.

The purpose of National Foster Care Month continues to evolve based on the needs of the time. Current activities focus on increasing the visibility of the needs of children and youth in foster care and highlighting how the child welfare system can prioritize foster care as a service to families and promote reunification.

This year's theme is all about strengthening relative and kin connections and the positive impact these relationships have on maintaining family and cultural ties for children and youth in foster care.

Quick Takeaways for National Foster Care Month 2022

  • There are over 407,000 children and youth in foster care, and 34 percent were placed with relatives or kin. 
  • When children cannot remain safely in their home, placement with relatives and kin - both formally through the child welfare system and informal through family arrangements - can increase stability, reduce trauma, and help children maintain a sense of family, belonging and identity. 
  • Investing in culturally appropriate services and supports for relative and kin caregivers may help reinforce a child’s cultural identity and traditions.  their parents or primary caregiver.
  • Relational permanency is fundamental to the well-being of children and youth. Maintaining relationships with relatives and kin can help provide a sense of belonging for young people in care.

National Foster Care Month provides us with an opportunity to celebrate foster youth and the people who provide them with love and support. Help celebrate this group by making a donation now!