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May is National Foster Care Month

©Thinkstock

©Thinkstock

May is National Foster Care Month, a time to raise awareness on the plight of children and youth in the foster care system. There are approximately 400,000 children and youth in foster care because their own families are unable to provide for their essential well-being. In addition, an estimated 17,000 young people age out of the foster care system each year with limited supports.

The Children’s Bureau, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, funds the National Foster Care Month initiative each May through a partnership with Child Welfare Information Gateway.

This year’s theme is “Empowering Caregivers and Strengthening Families.” The website provides resources for child welfare professionals, birth and foster parents, youth, tribes and other stakeholders.

National Foster Care Month highlights the needs of children and youth who need to be in foster care until they can either safely reunite with their parents or establish other lifelong family relationships.

NASW recognizes the critical work of social workers and the increasing need for safe, stable and nurturing environments for children and youth. Social workers play a critical role in working with children, biological parents, foster parents, adoptive parents and kinship care to ensure the proper placement for all children in care and in the reunification of families.

NASW calls on all Americans to help make a difference in the life of at least one young child or young person in foster care. Please visit the National Foster Care Month website for resources and to find out how you can make a lasting difference in the lives of America’s child welfare involved children, youth and families.

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