There are nearly 400,000 children in foster care in the United States, 13,000 in the State of Michigan, and 800 in Kent County alone.
May is National Foster Care Month — a time where we collectively renew our commitment to ensuring bright futures for the more than 800 children and youth in foster care in Kent County, and a time in which we celebrate those who make a meaningful difference in their lives. This year, Foster Kent Kids has partnered with CASA of Kent County and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to sponsor the #BeMyPerson campaign to raise awareness of the needs of youth in foster care and give tangible ways that you can help support them!
Research shows that the single most common factor for developing resilience in children is at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive parent, caregiver, or other adult. And for youth in foster care, having a “person” is all the more critical.
This month, we celebrate those in our community who embrace the essence of #BeMyPerson and step into this role every day for youth in foster care:
- The foster parents, who provide a safe and loving home and who, without them, our work would not be possible.
- Our private agency partners who provide foster care services and help place youth into loving homes — Bethany Christian Services, Catholic Charities West Michigan, D.A. Blodgett St. John’s, Samaritas, and Wellspring Lutheran Services.
- The MDHHS and foster care employees who remain dedicated to the health and well-being of the families they serve.
- The mentors who demonstrate the power of being a caring adult in a youth’s life;
- Our partners in justice – judges, attorneys, CASA workers – who tirelessly advocate for the most vulnerable.
- Relatives and family members who support and walk alongside birth parents.
- All who have stepped up and in to love, protect, encourage, and support youth in foster care.
We are excited to share real-life stories of these heroes and others. And we’re excited to share the ways in which you, too, can #BeMyPerson. Follow along on Facebook and Instagram this month. We promise you won’t be disappointed!