More than 400,000 children are in the foster care system. Many are eligible for adoption, but every year, more than 30,000 age out without a chance at a permanent home, often as young as age 18.
For more than 30 years, National Foster Care Month in May has celebrated foster parents for opening their homes and caring for children in need. In 2015, a congressional resolution supported that designation and emphasized the need to raise awareness about the challenges children in foster care face and to implement policy to improve their lives. The Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, highlights this year’s focus, “Foster Care as a Support to Families, Not a Substitute for Parents,” in narratives depicting supportive relationships as key factors in achieving family stability, attaining individual success, and maintaining family connections.
JBA has helped advance the evidence base to improve the lives of young people in foster care through its work to provide Technical Assistance on Evaluation for Children’s Bureau Discretionary Grant Programs—including the National Training and Development Initiative for Foster/Adoptive Parents funded in 2017 and Diligent Recruitment of Foster and Adoptive Parents for Children in Foster Care funded in 2008, 2010, and 2013—and to provide Evaluation Technical Assistance for Title IV-E Waiver Demonstrations in states like Massachusetts and West Virginia that have focused on transitioning youth out of restrictive congregate care placements into foster family settings.
Visit the National Foster Care Month website or check with your local foster care agencies to learn how you can volunteer or become a foster or adoptive parent.