More than 400,000 children in the U.S. are living in foster care because their own parents cannot take care of them. These are children who just want what every child should have: a family who loves and cares for them. They are indistinguishable from your own children, except for the fact that they have been removed from their birth families and placed with strangers.
National Foster Care Month should remind us that there are still so many young souls who need care and help at the most tumultuous and impressionable moments of their lives. Foster Care Month is an opportunity to show our appreciation for those who get involved: foster parents, volunteers, mentors, and the social workers who support them. For LSS, it’s also a time to appreciate the donors whose generosity helps support our foster care programs.
According to the National Foster Care Coalition, National Foster Care Month has three main campaign goals:
- Raising awareness of foster care issues.
- Motivating others to help foster care and foster children succeed.
- Creating a positive framework that maintains the progress made during the month of May throughout the rest of the year.
The Heroes: Foster Parents
Foster paents are a special breed of compassionate, caring individuals who quite literally change children’s lives. Sometimes, the damage of abuse or neglect is very hard to undo. But even if can’t be undone, it’s a great gift to give a child a home and security, to demonstrate that there is good in the world and grownups can do the right thing. Foster parents choose to take in children for any number of reasons, and altruism and “a calling” top the list.
In Texas, nearly 31,000 children were placed in foster care in 2013. LSS- Foster In Texas (FIT) provides foster care services for approximately 850 children on any given day. Unfortunately, there are always more children in need of foster care throughout Texas than there are available homes. So LSS-FIT is constantly recruiting, and recruiting some more, to find these special people. We think that lines of good-hearted people should be forming to train to be foster parents!
The foster care “system” is only as good as the people who keep it going: the social workers, elected officials, administrators, and foster parents. And LSS has a staff of experts who can help interested people learn more about becoming foster parents. A good place to start is www.fosterintexas.org. Call 877-747-8110 for an information packet, or submit an interest form.
What to do this month
Help us celebrate those who make a meaningful difference in the lives of foster children. This year, the theme for National Foster Care Month is “Building Blocks to Permanent Families.” The childwelfare.gov website is packed with resources for understanding and getting involved. Our 15 LSS-FIT offices have made plans for foster parent appreciation events throughout the month of May, and we will bring you news and photos of these as they occur.
Join us in singing the praises this month of those who do the amazing and challenging work of helping kids!