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Celebrating National Foster Care Month

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May 29, 2024

Celebrating National Foster Care Month

May marks National Foster Care Month, a time to recognize the vital role that foster families, social workers, advocates, and organizations play in the lives of children and youth in foster care. As we observe National Foster Care Month, it’s a moment to extend our gratitude and support to the remarkable individuals who step up as foster parents and to recognize the crucial role foster care plays in bolstering families.

One of the National CASA/GAL network’s guiding principles is that it is in a child’s best interest to remain with their family of origin when safely possible. Our child welfare system acknowledges that children have a right to be raised in their family of origin—if they can be in a safe environment. We are grateful to foster parents who step in, in most cases temporarily, when families can’t be together. They are often the unifying force between the child and the family, and have the child’s best interest at heart.

Every child deserves a safe, loving, and nurturing environment to thrive. Yet, for many children, circumstances beyond their control lead them into the foster care system, where they face uncertainty and instability. The National CASA/GAL Association for Children is committed to systemic change while advocating for policies and practices that improve outcomes for children in foster care, striving to create a more equitable and compassionate child welfare system.

National CASA/GAL, along with its network of dedicated staff and volunteers, works tirelessly to ensure that the voices of children and youth who have experienced abuse or neglect are heard, and their best interests are known. At the heart of CASA/GAL programs nationwide are dedicated volunteers – ordinary people who do extraordinary work for children in need. CASA/GAL volunteers undergo careful screening and comprehensive training to become advocates for children in the court system. They serve as a consistent presence in the child’s life, offering support, guidance, and advocacy every step of the way.

One of the most significant challenges for children in foster care is the lack of continuity and stability. Many children move from one placement to another, disrupting their sense of security and belonging. CASA/GAL volunteers work to mitigate these disruptions by advocating for stable placements and ensuring that the child’s needs are prioritized.

CASA/GAL volunteers also play a crucial role in helping children navigate the legal system. They attend court hearings, review case documents, and collaborate with attorneys, social workers, and other professionals to advocate for the child’s best interests. By providing the court with valuable insights into the child’s circumstances and needs, CASA/GAL volunteers help judges make the most informed decisions about the child’s future.

Beyond their advocacy within the courtroom, CASA/GAL volunteers also serve as mentors for the children for whom they advocate. For many children in foster care, having a supportive adult who believes in them can make all the difference.

As we celebrate National Foster Care Month, let us take a moment to honor the invaluable contributions of dedicated CASA/GAL volunteers. Their commitment to advocating for the rights and well-being of children and youth in foster care embodies the true spirit of compassion and empathy.

If you’re interested in making a difference in the lives of children in foster care, consider becoming a CASA/GAL volunteer. Your advocacy will give children and youth who have experienced abuse or neglect hope for a brighter future. If you, or someone you know, has ever contemplated becoming a foster parent, valuable resources can be found at the Child Welfare Information Gateway. Together, we can ensure that every child has the opportunity to thrive and succeed.