May is National Foster Care Month
May is National Foster Care Month, a special time to say ‘thank you’ to foster parents, family members, volunteers, policy makers and child welfare professionals who help children and youth find loving homes and connections. Last year more than 11,000 Oregon children spent at least one day in foster care and the need for foster parents continues.
Up until last year Oregon has seen a continuous decline in the number of certified foster homes. The state has about 3,800 certified homes right now. While we value each and every foster parent currently caring for children we need more. We need a diverse group of foster parents that can accommodate all the unique needs of children including sibling groups, teens and identified Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Queer (LGBTQQ) youth. These are just a few examples.
We know we have to improve our service to foster parents. We are working really hard to provide a better experience by training staff and offering more support services. Meanwhile, children continue to come into care and caseworkers struggle to find a good fit. If you think all children deserve to be kids, to play, to be cared for and not have grown-up worries, if you think all children have the right to be safe and allowed to be a child, then maybe you could be a foster parent.
Please consider saying ‘YES’ to foster care and thank you to those already making huge impacts in the lives of children who need and deserve a chance. For more information please call 1-800-331-0503 and a foster care specialist will answer your questions and provide you with a local person in your community who can get you started.
State of Oregon Foster Care Month Proclamation