May is National Foster Care Month, which means that a light is being shined on those children and adults who have made their way through the foster care system. Though this system is routinely criticized, the truth is that it also functions as an absolutely vital lifeline for children who often find themselves in situations that are unhealthy or unsafe.
Providing Safe Environments & Reconciliation
While foster care may have a reputation for separating families, the truth is that it is largely designed with reconciliation in mind. In fact, the goal for most children who go into the system is to reunify them with their families once their parents or guardians are able to provide a safe and nurturing environment for them. For others, though, the point of foster care is to help those children find safe environments that will allow them to grow in ways that their birth homes never could.
Supporting Children in the Foster Care System
National Foster Care Month also serves as a reminder that there are many children and adults who have gone through the system and still require support today. Whether their experiences in the system or before entering it have left them with trauma is irrelevant – what matters is that the trauma certainly exists and that many of those in the system still have issues coping with those traumas. As such, this month represents a chance to acknowledge the personal hardships that are all-too-often results of being in this system.
Whether you’re looking at children who are temporarily in foster care or those who spend many years in the foster system, it’s important to remember what a vital role foster care plays in child welfare. Though the experience can be traumatic for many, it’s still one that is designed to ensure that every child is given a chance to grow up in a place that’s designed with their welfare in mind.