I was “flipping” through my blog and realized that I use quite a few different adjectives to describe teens in foster care. Brave, awesome, and resilient are the first adjectives I rediscovered. I said it and I mean it. I am on a mission to change societal attitudes and behaviors as it relates to youth in care. Negative statistics and negative stereotypes of all teen are prevalent but they are extra potent when it comes to teens in care. fortunately, I am not tackling this mission alone.
Today I want to say THANK YOU to all the amazing Foster Parents, Adoptive Parents, foster care agencies, adoption agencies, Social Workers and Case Workers, mental health professionals, Advocates, and Foster Care Alumni who are making the world a better place — not just for youth in care but for all of us. THANK YOU to our SPOTLIGHT Teen of the Month honorees who stepped up as role models and shared their personal testimonies to show that teens in care are succeeding on their own terms.
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There are over 400,000 children in foster care in the United States. There have been many big screen and made for TV movies about the struggles of children in the system. The most famous movie (and one of my favorites) is The Blind Side. National Foster Care Month has ended but foster care is back in the spotlight with a television series on ABC Family called The Fosters. The Fosters is an ethnic mix of biological and foster children being raised by two mothers. Get your attention yet?
Many, many people in the foster care and adoption community were glued to their television sets on Monday night for the premiere. I missed the first episode but no worries — it will replay on ABC Family, it is available to view online, and it will be available On Demand soon. I will definitely be tuning in.
There have been various studies and comparisons of foster children and military children. The bottom line is that they are all OUR children and deserve the care and concern of the entire nation.
Just like foster children, military children experience unique challenges such as parental separation, family reunification, and reintegration. Due to frequent moves, many military children experience disrupted relationships with friends, and must adapt to new schools and cultivate new community resources. Foster children also face these same disruptions. Shared traumas also include a parent with (combat) injury or illness, parental death, and child maltreatment and neglect.
On this Memorial Day during National Foster Care Month I want to show appreciation to all of our Veteran’s and active military and their families for their sacrifices that ensure our individual freedoms. I also am grateful to all the foster parents, child welfare workers, mentors, and supporters of children in foster care.
National Foster Care Month provides an opportunity raise awareness of the experiences and needs of the more than 400,000 children and youth in the foster care system. Pack A Backpack Drive is The Teen Toolbox’s annual National Foster Care Month event. During the month of May we have collected and distributed new and gently used backpacks (duffel bags, and luggage) and new personal hygiene items to teenage males in group homes, foster homes, and homeless shelters.
Today is the last day to donate: toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss, hand sanitizer, deodorant, soap, acne products, lotion, powder, shampoo, conditioner, shaving items, etc. We are also collecting disposable cameras and wallets.
What I Know Now:
- These drives have grown too large for Nicki to make all the deliveries
Every state in the United States has children and teens in the foster care system. These young people belong to all of us. May is National Foster Care Month. Let’s show that we care.
National Foster Care Month Core Messages:
- The Magnitude – on any given day there are more than 400,000 children in foster care.
- The Need – every child needs at least one permanent connection with a caring, trusted adult
- The Faces of Foster Care – a disproportionate number of children in foster care are children of color but children of race, ethnicity, culture and age group are a part of the child welfare system
- The Consequences – youth who age out of the system are more likely to experience a variety of negative consequences including homelessness and prison
Today is the day. May 1st marks the beginning of National Foster Care Month. This entire month is dedicated to showcasing that each of us can play a part in enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care.
National Foster Care Month 2013 – Supporting Youth In Transition
- On any given day there are more than 400,000 children in foster care.
- Roughly 28,000 youth will leave foster care without a permanent family.
National Foster Care Month also provides an opportunity for acknowledging the thousands of dedicated foster families and other caring individuals and organizations who are already supporting youth in foster care. We can never publicly recognize all the agencies supporting these young people. We will highlight various agencies throughout National Foster Care Month.
Today is National Drop Everything and Read Day (D.E.A.R.)
What is D.E.A.R.?
D.E.A.R. stands for “Drop Everything and Read,” a national month-long celebration of reading designed to remind folks of all ages to make reading a priority activity in their lives. Because, what’s more fun(damental) than reading, really?
When is D.E.A.R. celebrated?
D.E.A.R. programs have been held nationwide on April 12th in honor of Beverly Cleary’s birthday, since she first wrote about D.E.A.R. in Ramona Quimby, Age 8 .
So, go ahead and join the millions of families, schools, bookstores, and communities who have participated throughout the years and pledge to “drop” what you’re doing in order to read a good book.
I challenge you to drop everything and read about the triumph and accomplishments of successful foster care alumni. Here is my reading “to do” list:
From Foster Care to Fabulous: An Imperative Movement by Capri C. Cruz
The Pain In The Promise: Child Neglected, God Protected, Beauty Reflected by Nikki J