The annual Children’s Bureau initiative recognizes foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections.
Did you know…?
- More than 407,000 U.S. children and youth are in foster care
- Nearly half of all children (46.9%) who entered foster care associated with parental alcohol or drug use were placed with relatives in 2020
This year’s theme, Relative and Kin Connections: Keeping Families Strong, acknowledges the need to support kinship caregivers. Relatives and kin play a vital role in achieving reunification for children and youth in foster care. By prioritizing the placement of these children with family or kin, we can help transform the child welfare system into one that truly supports families and maintains connections.
Foster Care Month allows us to reflect on the many facets of foster care that affect our work building connections across child welfare, treatment, family/dependency courts, and other systems that support children and families.
- The Role of Resource Parents in Supporting Family Recovery and Reunification in Family Treatment Courts Learning Academy discusses opportunities to engage resource parents in critical activities, including facilitating quality and frequent family time, co-parenting with the birth parent, and providing a trauma-informed approach.
- Putting the Pieces Together: Harnessing the Power of Parenting Time to Strengthen the Parent-Child Relationship and Support Reunification Efforts in Your Family Treatment Court examines the importance of parenting time as an essential component of reunification efforts for children in out-of-home care. Family treatment court teams have the opportunity and responsibility to encourage safe and frequent parent-child interactions that support bonding and attachment.
- Building Collaborative Capacity Series guides states and communities on how to create cross-systems collaborative teams, communication protocols, and practice innovations. These strategies improve screening, assessment, and engagement to best serve families affected by substance use disorders (SUDs) and child welfare involvement.
- The four-part video series, Peer Recovery Staff’s Role in Engaging Families and Supporting their Recovery Journey, can help professionals from child welfare, courts, SUD treatment, and other family-serving agencies better understand how staff can strengthen services and supports for children and families.
- Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network: A National Technical Assistance Center provides technical assistance that enables peer learning, integrates subject-matter expertise into solutions, and documents replicable models of collaboratively working across jurisdictions to break down silos and holistically support grand and kinship families.
 Children’s Bureau and Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2022). Key facts and statistics. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. https://www.childwelfare.gov/fostercaremonth/awareness/facts/?utm_campaign=nfcm22&utm_medium=email&utm_source=nfcm22getreadyCB042622
 Children’s Bureau. (2021). The AFCARS report. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/documents/cb/afcarsreport28.pdf