WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth (CCFY) introduced legislation with more than 130 bipartisan cosponsors to recognize May as National Foster Care Month and encourage Congress to implement policies to improve the lives of children in the foster care system.
Foster Care Month will culminate in Foster Youth Shadow Day on May 24th, when nearly over 100 current and former foster youth from across the country will come to Washington, D.C. to be paired with their home members of Congress to share their experiences in the nation's foster care system. The CCFY co-chairs are Reps. Karen Bass, Tom Marino (R-Penn.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Diane Black (R-Tenn.), Jim Langevin (D-Rhode Island), and Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.)
“Foster Care Month is about not only the more than 400,000 youth living in foster care; it’s about foster parents, it’s about kinship caregivers and their families; it’s about the organizations and communities that embrace the youth and help them reach their full potential,” Rep. Bass said. “Importantly, Foster Care Month is also about making sure Congress and the country is aware about the challenges that children face in the system. Love makes a family, and every child deserves the opportunity to have a family who loves and supports them throughout their lives. Foster Care Month is an opportunity for Congress to work together to lift up young people who rely on our nation’s foster care system.”
“Family is one of the most important parts of a child’s life and the young people in our foster care system are some of the brightest,” Rep. Marino said. “However, in too many cases, those in foster care miss out on the opportunity to grow as an integral part of a family. That is why it is imperative we ensure our foster youth have the love and support they all so rightfully deserve. I am excited to be a part of our efforts in Congress to celebrate Foster Care Month and more importantly, promote the young people within our foster care system.”
"More than 400,000 children in America find themselves in foster care through no fault of their own, and the fact that those numbers are rising again should be a red flag for policymakers.” Rep. Franks said. “This reality is especially stark in Arizona which has experienced one of the steepest increases of children coming into care in recent years. Hubert Humphrey said a society is measured by how it treats those in the dawn of life, those in the shadows of life, and those in the twilight of life. Foster Care Month is a perfect time to renew our focus on these children who are so often lost in the shadows, to recognize the amazing families and social workers who work hard to support them, and to renew our efforts to making sure our child welfare system works effectively to reunify or find permanency for each and every one of them."
"Nothing is more important to a child’s upbringing and long term success than a loving, stable home,” Rep. Black said. “Sadly, too many children and young adults in Tennessee and across the country are lacking this basic human need. We may not all be called to adopt, but we are all called to do something. By recognizing May as National Foster Care Month, we can shed light on the challenges faced by those in foster care and, hopefully, inspire bipartisan efforts to build a system better suited to match foster children with forever families.”
“It is critical that we raise awareness about the challenges faced by foster youth, and I join my colleagues in commemorating May as National Foster Care Month,” Congressman Jim Langevin said. “Every child deserves a safe home and a loving family, and helping young people find their forever families must be a priority. I will continue to fight for the programs and resources necessary to support foster youth and give them every opportunity to achieve their dreams as children and adults.”
“Child welfare and foster youth issues are very important to me,” Rep. Lawrence said. “I am passionate about protecting our nation’s children and Congress should be doing whatever we can to ensure that our system does not fail those who need our support the most. Raising awareness on the issues surrounding foster youth is an essential step towards improving our foster care system and providing the needed support for one of our nation’s most vulnerable groups. This is why I stand in strong support of recognizing May as National Foster Care Month. We all must work together to highlight the needs of foster youth which are too often forgotten.”
115TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION
H. RES. 314
Recognizing National Foster Care Month as an opportunity to raise awareness about the challenges of children in the foster care system, and encouraging Congress to implement policy to improve the lives of children in the foster care system.