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Center for Family and Community Engagement

May is National Foster Care Month

Anne Doyle, author

May is National Foster Care Month

As of 2024, there are approximately 391,000 children and youth in foster care (Children’s Bureau, 2024). May is National Foster Care Month (NFCM), which is a time to spread national awareness of issues related to foster care. Each year, the Children’s Bureau runs the NFCM campaign. This year’s theme, “Engaging Youth. Building Supports. Strengthening Opportunities.” emphasizes the importance of creating a child welfare system that “takes a holistic and culturally responsive approach to engaging youth in planning for their future to help them leave care with lasting relationships, meaningful supports, and greater opportunities” (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2024). National Foster Care Month is also an opportunity to recognize that people from all parts of the child welfare system play a crucial role in supporting children, youth and families. 

According to the National Foster Care Month 2024 Outreach Toolkit, “In 2021, 77 percent of eligible youth in foster care, ages 14-21 years old, exited care without receiving the federally funded services necessary to prepare them for adulthood and independent living.” This statistic highlights that despite the incredible efforts of the child welfare system to reach the best possible outcomes for children and youth, there is still much progress to be made. Access to resources and opportunities are crucial for foster care youth exiting the system, so child welfare staff “must look for ways to collaboratively work with related professionals to engage youth in permanency planning, gain access to holistic supports, and help nurture important relationships to set them up for future success” (Children’s Bureau, 2024). There are also many practice shifts occurring across the child welfare system in the U.S. For example, one of these shifts includes changing “foster care” to “permanency planning.” This emphasis on permanency is a necessary shift that gives adequate attention to stability for children and youth. 

Ways to Spread Awareness This NFCM

Spreading awareness by promoting National Foster Care Month on social media is a great way to contribute! The official hashtag for this year’s NFCM is #FosterCareMonth. So, don’t forget to use the hashtag if you post any of your own content. In addition, you can tag The Children’s Bureau and the Child Welfare Information Gateway in your posts!








If you aren’t posting your own content for NFCM, you can also repost and share existing content from organizations that are trying to raise awareness and share resources (like CFACE). You can also access more resources on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website to help educate others about foster care youth who are exiting the system. You can make a change by starting the conversation about National Foster Care Month!