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May 2005Vol. 6, No. 4May Is National Foster Care Month

Every year, about 170,000 families care for more than one-half million children whose parents cannot take care of them. Every jurisdiction in the country has experienced a shortage of foster homes, and estimates of the number of homes needed range into the millions. May, National Foster Care Month, provides an opportunity for people across the nation to show their appreciation for the dedication of foster families and workers. It is also an opportunity to get more people involved as foster parents, volunteers, mentors, employers, or in other ways.

This year, the National Foster Care Month partnership has developed new materials to support the largest Foster Care Month effort ever. The National Foster Parent Association is promoting a nationwide ribbon campaign to heighten public awareness of the need for foster parents and how people can help make a difference in the lives of foster children and youth. These campaigns will display a ribbon for every child in foster care in participating States or communities. For more information about the ribbon campaign, contact your local foster parent association or go to

A toolkit with Foster Care Month information and graphics also is available. Contents include facts about foster care, ideas for Foster Care Month events, and materials for working with foster parents, educators, the media, local businesses, and policy makers. Find the toolkit online at

National Foster Care Month is a joint effort of Casey Family Programs and the National Resource Center for Foster Care and Permanency Planning at the Hunter College School of Social Work, in conjunction with Annie E. Casey Foundation; Casey Family Services; Children's Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Child Welfare League of America; Connect for Kids; APHSA/National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators; National Association of Social Workers; National CASA; National Foster Care Coalition; and the National Foster Parent Association.