By Juli Oberlander
More than 400,000 U.S. children currently live in foster care, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Foster children average about 8 years of age, but they enter the system from infancy to 18 years old. While foster children are no different from other youth, they often experience abuse, neglect and trauma before joining foster families.
Many foster children deal with hardship in their lives. However, they can flourish with the support of parents and caring community members. We at NFPAN believe in the importance of recognizing and encouraging children’s potential year-round. This May, NFPAN celebrates the powerful relationships between children and caregivers.
As National Foster Care Month, May commemorates the dedication of foster parents who open their homes to at-risk youth. Since 1988, the country celebrates caregivers who mentor and encourage youth as well as organizations that support parent-child relationships. At NFPAN, our focus is to provide resources that foster the well-being of parents and youth.
Former President Barack Obama issued a statement on April 29, 2011 about National Foster Care Month.
“For nearly half a million youth in foster care across our country,” Obama said, “the best path to success we can give them is the chance to experience a loving home where they can feel secure and thrive.”
Like Obama, our goal is to ensure supportive homes for youth. This May, we celebrate the promise of every American foster child. Our mission at NFPAN is to offer opportunities for children to connect with other youth through events at Boys & Girls Club of the Midlands and NorthStar Foundation.
By supporting foster children at home and in the community, we work to promote the purpose of National Foster Care Month. Foster children are never alone, and we can provide them with a voice to help them succeed.