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05.25.2016

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May is National Foster Care Month

This May, CASA joins the rest of nation in recognizing National Foster Care Month by focusing on how foster parents make enormous impacts on the abused and neglected children who have been removed from their homes and placed into their care.

Children placed in a foster home begin journeys that can last for just overnight, to months at a time and a foster parent plays a crucial role in providing a healthy, safe environment for the child or sibling group. The foster parent has an immediate impact for a foster child during by working directly with the child’s caseworker, the CASA Advocate, the court system, the child’s therapist and teacher, among many others.   They provide updates on the well-being of the child to invested parties in the case and report any medical, psychological, dental needs they may need. A foster parent’s primary responsibility is to care for these children due to the unfortunate circumstance that placed them into foster care, provide them a safe, loving, stable home, and help reunify the children back with their family.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2014 more than 400,000 children were in foster care in the United States. When these children are in foster care, they often face separation from their siblings, have mere minutes to pack their belongings when they are removed from their home to enter foster care, and experience the fear of being placed with unfamiliar adults. At least 46% of foster children are living with a non-relative and struggle with this new environment. Too often these children are faced with a constant change in familiar faces, new schools, and struggle to make new friends in their new home.

Luckily, these foster children have caring foster parents and CASA advocates fighting for what is in their best interest and helping alleviate obstacles like educational deficiencies due to placement changes during their stay in foster care. For the parties involved in the case, the goal is for the children to exit foster care and reunite with their families. In 2014 alone, 51% of children in the foster care system were reunified with their parents or primary caretaker. Reunification is the most common goal for children in foster care and Advocates and foster parents are helping achieve this every day by providing a safe and loving environment.

Our Advocates work directly with these foster parents to make sure these children are creating meaningful connections at their placement and that they are receiving the best treatment that they deserve - advocates can even provide a brief respite for the foster parent. Local foster parent Jared Anderson knows the importance and impacts our Advocates make first hand. He said, “CASA has been like a bridge. The one constant thing in children’s lives throughout this process. CASA fills the gap. CASA makes them smile and gives them a reprieve….”

CASA is truly appreciative of all the foster parents do for the abused and neglected children of San Antonio and Bexar County. The positive impacts you make daily for these children are immeasurable and we can’t thank you enough! You can learn more about more about National Foster Care Month here today! If you want to make a difference in a child’s life, sign up for one of our CASA information sessions here or considering making a shared investment in a child’s life by donating to CASA on our website.

May is National Foster Care Month