May 6, 2021
Supporting families: a message from our CEO on National Foster Care Month
SEATTLE, Washington — During National Foster Care Month, we have the opportunity to thank and support those who serve as foster parents and acknowledge the role that foster care can play as a support for families.
On any given day, there are nearly 424,000 children and youth in foster care in the United States. A child in foster care may have experienced physical, psychological and/or emotional trauma, only to endure long periods of uncertainty as they wait to go home, be adopted or simply see what happens next. With the addition of the COVID-19 pandemic, the stress and hardship on families requires even more collaboration, strategies and support from various systems – including foster care, as well as school systems, courts, community programs, and CASA/GAL programs – to strengthen the capacity of families to ensure the well-being of children and youth.
I have tremendous gratitude for the foster families who opened their homes and demonstrated compassion and support for children and youth, especially in the midst of the pandemic. Likewise, I am inspired by the CASA and GAL volunteers who continue to make a difference in the lives of children and youth in the foster care system during challenging times.
After a year of challenges and hardships on so many families, communities are trying to regain a sense of normalcy. The foster care system still faces challenges, including visitation with parents or others while adhering to social distancing guidelines, children falling behind in school without access to resources for virtual learning, and economic uncertainties or unemployment affecting families. CASA and GAL volunteers are needed now more than ever to advocate for the best interests of children and youth in the foster care system, to help them reunify with their parents, or reach another safe and permanent home.
If you, or anyone you know has ever considered becoming a foster parent, you can learn more about foster care by visiting childwelfare.gov/fostercaremonth. For more information about becoming a CASA or GAL volunteer, please visit nationalcasagal.org/advocate-for-children/be-a-casa-gal-volunteer.
Tara Lisa Perry
CEO, National CASA/GAL Association for Children