May 01, 2012
Recognizing Foster Care Month—And What You Can Do To Help
Today marks the beginning of National Foster Care Month. Juvenile Law Center joins advocates, organizations, and citizens across the country in renewing our commitment to improving the lives of foster youth—some of our most vulnerable children.
Each year, approximately 30,000 youth in the United States age out of care in the child welfare system without the support of family. These young people, talented and rich with potential, face enormous challenges and obstacles, and research overwhelmingly shows that they fare poorly as adults. These youth deserve a chance at success. Fortunately, the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, signed in 2008, provides states the opportunity to follow through on our commitment to youth in the child welfare system--but states must take affirmative steps to implement the options that apply to older youth. In his FY2013 budget, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett proposed the implementation of the Older Youth Provisions of the Fostering Connections Act. For this proposal to be a reality for older foster youth, the budget must be adopted and legislation must be passed to make that implementation possible. (See our Pennsylvania Fostering Connections page for more information).
Throughout this month, we will be highlighting through our blog the voices of youth and young adults who are currently aging out or have already aged out of the child welfare system. We encourage you to listen to their voices and think about what National Foster Care Month means. What actions could you take to improve the lives and opportunities of youth in care? How can we better prepare these young people to become successful, productive, contributing members of the community?
In the video below, members of our 2009-2010 Youth Fostering Change group, which included who were formerly in the child welfare system, describe the challenges they faced when aging out of care:
For more information on National Foster Care Month—including activities and actions you can take—visit fostercaremonth.org.