May is National Foster Care Month

Four teenage girls smiling and pointing towards you.
May is National Foster Care Month, a month to acknowledge foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections.  The theme this year is “Honoring, Uniting and Celebrating Families.”
During National Foster Care Month, we renew our commitment to ensuring a bright future for the nearly 400,000 children and youth in foster care in America, and we celebrate all those who make a meaningful difference in their lives. To the children, youth, families, caregivers, and professionals, celebrating also means taking action.
You can go to https://www.childwelfare.gov/fostercaremonth/  to get more resources and tools to help professionals, parents, caregivers, and youth move closer to family reunification and establish permanent connections.
Here are easy ways you can help support those connections:
Share the great real-life stories of others who've made permanent connections
Promote National Foster Care Month by using free outreach materials and share the resources and tools across your network
Connect parents, youth, foster parents and caregivers, professionals, Tribes, and communities to resources and tools specifically designed to support best practices in foster care
If you live in Iowa and you are interested in becoming a foster parent, visit https://www.iowakidsnet.com/ or call them at 1-800-243-0756.  The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS)  continually recruits foster families so that we may have different types of expertise in meeting children’s unique needs, more racial and ethnic diversity and additional geographical flexibility so that, in many cases, children may be close to home as we work toward reunification. 
 
“Become a foster parent can be a challenging but very rewarding experience. We are always looking for those special families willing to open their hearts and their homes to children who have suffered trauma and abuse and need a stable environment as we work toward reunification or  permanent placement,” said Wendy Rickman, administrator of Adult, Children and Family Services for DHS. “Foster parents have an incredibly important role in helping to protect and support these vulnerable children.”
To learn more about what’s happening during National Foster Care Month in Iowa visit http://www.iowakidsnet.com/calendar