Illinois celebrates National Foster Care
Month in May
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[May 03, 2007]
GIG HARBOR, Wash. -- This May, National Foster
Care Month will serve as a platform for connecting vulnerable
children with concerned adults who can help nurture children in
foster care. This year's theme, "Change a Lifetime," focuses on
getting more foster parents, relative caregivers, mentors,
advocates, social workers and volunteers involved in creating
positive relationships with children in foster care.
More than 500,000 children are in foster care in America, 16,000 of
whom are in Illinois, according to the Adoption and Foster Care
Analysis and Reporting System.
"As the national organization for foster parents, NFPA, the
National Foster Parent Association, is honored to participate in
National Foster Care Month," said Karen Jorgenson, NFPA executive
director. "We hope that communities across America will take time to
remember our children in foster care and consider fostering children
in their own community. It is essential for a child's well-being to
have a caring and nurturing relationship with an adult."
While many Americans have welcomed foster children into their
homes and become involved in child welfare issues, more
participation is needed to prevent the following by 2020:
Nearly 14 million
confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect will be reported.
More than 22,000
children will die of neglect or abuse, most before their 5th
More than 9 million
children will experience the foster care system.
More than 300,000
will "age-out" of the foster care system, and these young adults
will be ill-prepared for success in higher education or the work
Almost 100,000 former
foster youth who aged out of the system will experience
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"Many children in foster care require secure, stable places to call
home until they can either safely reunite with their parents or
establish other lifelong family relationships," said Virginia Pryor
of Casey Family Programs and chairwoman of National Foster Care
Month. "We hope to inspire and engage many more individuals to take
action in support of these children and their families. There are so
many ways a person can positively affect the life of a child in
Foster Care Month began in 1988, when the National Foster Parent
Association persuaded Sen. Strom Thurmond to introduce a resolution
honoring America's foster children. Today, the National Foster Care
Month campaign is presented by 14 of the nation's largest child
welfare organizations and is led by
Casey Family Programs.
For more information about National Foster Care Month community
events and activities, please visit
The National Foster Parent Association, based in Gig Harbor,
Wash., is the only national organization that strives to support
foster parents and remains a strong voice on behalf of all children.
Currently, more than 500,000 children are in the foster care system
in America. For more information about the association, visit
[Text from news release received from
the National Foster Parent