May is National Foster Care Month, a time to raise awareness about the needs of children in foster care and the vital role that foster families and child welfare professionals play in their lives. It can be a difficult and uncertain time for children in the foster care system. Last year there were 59,934 children in the Texas foster care system, 148 of whom were right here in South Central Texas. National Foster Care Month is an opportunity to shine a light on their experiences and encourage support for the work organizations like CASA for Kids do to help them.
For many children in foster care, their CASA volunteer may be the only consistent adult presence in their lives. This is especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many of the usual supports for these children, such as in-person visits with family members, may not be possible. As a result, CASA volunteers have had to adapt to new methods to ensure they can still be there for the children who need them.
National Foster Care Month is a time to recognize and thank the foster families who open their hearts and homes to children in need. Foster parents provide stability, safety, and love to children who may have experienced trauma and disruption in their young lives. They play a vital role in helping children in foster care to heal and thrive.
This month is also an opportunity to highlight the need for more foster families. Across the country, there is a shortage of foster families, and many children are placed far away from their communities and schools because of a lack of available placements. If you have ever considered becoming a foster parent, we hope this can serve as a friendly shove. Foster care is essential for protecting children temporarily. It is not meant to be a permanent solution.
Here are several characteristics of successful foster families:
There are many ways to support National Foster Care Month and the work of organizations like CASA for Kids. You can learn more about the foster care system, volunteer with a local organization, or donate to support their essential work. No matter how small, every contribution can make a difference in a child's life in foster care.
National Foster Care Month is a time to recognize and honor the children in foster care, the foster families who care for them, and the organizations that work to support them. We are grateful for CASA for Kids' work to provide advocacy and support to children in the foster care system, and we encourage everyone to take action to support this vital cause.
For more information on fostering in Texas, visit dfps.texas.gov