May is National Foster Care month

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May is National Foster Care month

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The month of May is also known as Foster Care month. During this month it is important to reflect on foster care children and what they endure.

In the early 1970s The Children’s Bureau and President Richard Nixon brought attention to one of the biggest issues in America — foster care. In 1972, Nixon created National Action for Foster Children week to raise awareness for the children.

This campaign lasted for a month and the goal was to help persuade more adults to become foster parents.

Creating more foster parents was ideal to decrease the amount of foster care children in the system.

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan declared National Foster Care month to be May.

Foster care is defined as any minors that are taken in by the state and put into group homes or private homes approved by the state.

Senior Angel Keyes was in foster care for three years but is now out of the system.

“Foster care is the last option for a child,” Keyes said.  “If there’s no family or relatives available, then children are entered into the system.”

Currently there are over 400,000 children in foster care and over 100,000 waiting to be adopted in the United States. With numbers that high, there is clearly a widespread foster care issue in America.

Adoption is defined as obtaining legal custody of a minor. It is a huge adjustment for both the parents and children involved and doesn’t always have the best outcome.

Before getting adopted, the children are usually put in group homes. These group homes are filled with diverse children who need some type of support and care.

Sometimes these group homes can be overrun with children and poor living conditions.

“Right now I live by myself because I am 18, but I get help from the state,” Keyes said.

The ultimate goal for foster care children is for them to be adopted or placed into the care of a relative.

It’s vital that these children are put into clean, positive, and growing environments.

“I haven’t had the best experience in foster care and I’ve been in several different foster homes,” Keyes said. “Being in foster care taught me that sometimes things don’t always go how you want them to and you have to adapt.”

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