May 2000Vol. 1, No. 3Honor Foster Families in May
May is National Foster Care Month, and across the country, State and local governments, parent groups, and public and private child welfare agencies are honoring the families that care for the nation's half-million children living in foster care. Governments and child welfare agencies also are stepping up efforts to recruit more foster families to the ranks. Among the activities marking the month are recognition banquets, award ceremonies, picnics, zoo days, and other special events.
The National Foster Care Awareness Project has prepared a packet of Foster Care Month materials to help communities plan local events and activities. Many of the materials highlight the establishment of the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program, which increases Federal funding of benefits for the nearly 20,000 children who leave the foster care system at age 18. The packet includes the following items:
- Sample letter and proclamation for governors and mayors
- List of States that designated Foster Care Month in 1999
- Suggested promotional activities
- Ideas for foster family recognition events
- Recruitment and retention tips
- Sample newsletter, news release, press advisory, and media guide
- Facts about foster parents and children and youth in foster care
- Background on the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 and the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program
- Information on the Child Welfare League of America's National Data Analysis System.
The National Foster Care Awareness Project is a coalition of 19 foundations and community organizations working to raise awareness of foster care issues and to improve the lives of children in foster care, with special concern for teens transitioning from foster care to adulthood. Obtain the Project's Foster Care Month Packet from:
Pam Day, Child Welfare League of America
440 First Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
For more information about foster care, contact:
National Foster Parent Association
P.O. Box 81
Alpha, OH 45301
Phone: (800) 557-5238
Fax: (937) 431-9377
A bill introduced to Congress in February would establish a National Foster Parents Day. For details on H.Res. 413 visit Thomas, a service of the Library of Congress (http://thomas.loc.gov).
A Presidential Proclamation declaring May as National Foster Care Month is available online through the Connect for Kids website at http://www.connectforkids.org.