Saturday, May 7, 2011

Day 137: National Foster Care Month

Each May, National Foster Care Month provides an opportunity to shine a light on the experiences of the more than 400,000 children and youth in the foster care system. The campaign raises awareness about the urgent needs of these young people and encourages citizens from every walk of life to get involved – as foster or adoptive parents, volunteers, mentors, employers or in other ways.
With the help of dedicated people, many formerly abused or neglected children and teens will either reunite safely with their parents, be cared for by relatives or be adopted by loving families. Many children would not have to enter foster care at all if more states provided support and services to help families cope with crises early on.

Thanks to the many advocates, child welfare professionals, elected officials and support groups around the country, the total number of children in foster care has decreased over recent years.  But more help is needed.

Children growing up in foster care and orphanages – government run and private ones -- are at great risk. These are the forgotten children. These are the children Kidsave serves.

Without individual care, attention and stimulation, children do not develop normally. They develop learning disabilities, they have growth delays and they struggle with the psychological trauma of losing their parents – and the neglect or abuse that led to that horrible end.

Kids cannot raise themselves. Without help, the odds are against them growing into productive citizens – and the loss to society is devastating. Many children without parents don’t finish high school, they end up homeless and in our prisons. They are prime candidates for trafficking, prostitution, terrorists and becoming child soldiers. The loss of human potential is incalculable.

With support, most of these children are can learn and succeed. They have tremendous ability to be contributing members of society. This is the work of Kidsave -- to create change – so forgotten orphanage and foster kids are found -- and connected to families and caring adults.

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