May is National Foster Care Month!
Did you know that there are 5000 children in foster care in Virginia. 700 of these children have parental rights terminated and are waiting for a forever family. In 2016, 464 children aged out of the foster care system before becoming adopted. Henrico County has 92 foster children and just 45 foster families.
What is Foster Care? The goal of a foster family is to provide temporary care for a child with the goal of reunification to the child's biological family. The child's plan for permanency may change to a goal of adoption, leading to an opportunity for a foster family to adopt the child. However, it is important that foster parents enter into care with the primary goal of seeking reunification of the foster child with their biological family.
What is Waiting Child Adoption? A family pursuing waiting child adoption is entering with the goal of adopting a child currently in foster care. A "waiting child" is a foster child whose plan for permanency has a stated goal of adoption. This used to be called "foster to adopt."
What about Child Refugees? Children who have fled their homes because of war, persecution, or dangerous living situations and arrive in the US without parents enter into our foster care system. These are typically older children who do not want to be adopted since their hope is to one day be reunited with their parents from the land they fled, but they still need the support of a local family.
For the month of May, Forgotten No More is partnering with Hope Tree Family Services, and will be encouraging our adult and children Sunday school classes to support foster care children. We will be creating snack bags for a foster kids' movie night, and making journals for older foster children. We will also provide a way for you to pray for children in foster care throughout the month of May.
Several families within our Third community are praying about becoming foster or adoptive parents. While not everyone is called to foster, not everyone is called to adopt, everyone is called to care. How else can we care?
- Join us on Thursday, May 17 @ 7pm for the next FNM Fellowship. We'll gather together to provide practical support, share personal stories, and pray for one another as we seek the Lord.
- On Sunday, May 6 and 20, we'll tie blue ribbons around the courtyard to represent the number of kids in foster care in Virginia. Come see the ribbons inbetween services and talk more with our FNM team.
- Become a Respite Foster Family - Respite is a much-needed service to foster care families. By becoming a Respite Foster Family, you provide a much-needed break to foster families, helping to prevent burnout. Whom in your church family might need this respite care?
- Wrap-Around Ministry - Bob and Karen Tatti lead FNM's efforts to support families that have said yes to become foster or adoptive parents. Join them as they provide prayer and practical support.
- Community Partnering - Monica Murphy is leading efforts to support our local department of social services in Henrico County. Find out more about the needs within the fostering community and ways to encourage social workers.