Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May is National Foster Care Month -- Be Proud of What You Do!

Irene Clements
NFPA President
Dear NFPA Members and Friends,
As you know, May is National Foster Care Month. It is a time to recognize the exceptional dedication of foster parents and their families and those who work in the foster care system. The National Foster Parent Association is proud to be one of several like-minded national organizations that have partnered in planning for this recognition and the provision of materials that can be used to assist with specific activities and events during National Foster Care Month.

Resources are available from the National Foster Care Month website. If you haven’t been invited to an event in your local area or would like to do something, please go to the website for a wealth of suggestions for activities, sample proclamations and news releases and a calendar of events from around the country. You will also find a fact sheet specific to your state that may be helpful as you educate others about foster care and why it is important for every community to recognize their foster families.

Each state and local community observes May as National Foster Care Month in a variety of ways. Each state has a person who is designated as the state foster care manager and they should be helpful in identifying events and activities in your state.

NFPA has collaborated with US Airways and CNN to have recruitment spots and a two-minute interview utilized on an ongoing basis on airport monitors and on US Airways radio during the months of May through August 2012. We hope this four-month exposure in more than 40 main airports in the United States and on US Airways planes will plant many seeds that will grow into people stepping up to be foster and/or adoptive parents.

I hope to see many more Walk Me Home events planned for next year as foster parents and their support associations learn the importance of spreading the word about the need for more foster homes while raising funds for more retention supports for foster families in their local communities.

The bottom line is that foster parenting is the most difficult but most rewarding thing a person can do with their life. Changing the life of a child to help ensure a bright and happy future is priceless and foster parents do that each and every day. Hold your heads high and be proud of the volunteer work you do 24/7. Understand that the National Foster Parent Association acknowledges and appreciates your hard work and, if we could, would give every one of you a huge hug and a warm pat on the back.

As always, you are my heroes,
Irene Clements, President

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