May is National Foster Care Month

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Foster care is defined as "24-hour substitute care for children placed away from their parents or guardians and for whom the State agency has placement and care responsibility, whether or not the placement is licensed or payments are made."

There are more than half a million children in foster care in the U.S., and it's estimated that 48 percent live in family foster homes.

This month is a time to
  • recognize foster parents and child welfare workers;
  • build awareness of the pressing need for foster families, the importance of keeping siblings together and keeping kids in their communities;
  • bring to the forefront of policy dialog the need for programs to help foster youth transition to independent living.
Featured This Month at the Site
Advocacy Tool Kit

The National Resource Center for Foster Care and Permanency Planning at the Hunter College School of Social Work is hosting the National Foster Care Month Web site and they've put together information that includes:
  • the month's goals, messages, and partners,
  • tools to get involved, and work with the media,
  • a sign-up form to receive updates throughout the month,
  • media kit including customizable letters, and
  • a calendar of events across the U.S. (by state).
The Need for Foster Parents

If you've considered becoming a foster parent, here's some information to get you started: and check the full index for those considering foster parenting for information about required classes, foster care rates, fostering for military families, and more.

Transition to Independent Living

In 1999, the Foster Care Independence Act allocated additional resources to assist teens and young adults in foster care (ages 16-18, 16-19, or 16-21 depending on the state) make the transition to independent living. These resources include vocational training, living facilities, tuition waivers or scholarships for state universities, and more. If you are a young person currently in foster care, or the foster parent of a teen or young adult, these available resources are the place to start.

Foster Care Month is a joint effort of the Casey Family Programs National Center For Resource Family Support (CNC), the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), the National Foster Care Coalition (NFCC), and the National Foster Parent Association (NFPA).

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