I have worked in the foster care world for 10 years. Since I have been in the foster care world, I would always get asked, “What is May about?” and my answer was always, “May is National Foster Care Month and we raise awareness about the need for more foster parents.”
As I continue this journey, I often associate foster care with people deciding to be a light in dark places. The importance of this analogy is that the light is not the focus, all the beauty that is now visible becomes the focus. The children become the focus. When that light is shining on them, they begin to realize that they have light within them as well. This is where the healing starts. I believe one day, most of the children we serve go on to be the light in someone else’s dark place.
May is about being the voice for all the lights in the child welfare system. It’s about being a voice for the growing community that is working to serve them and their families. It’s about changing the outcome and inviting potential foster parents, faith-based communities, businesses partners and local government representatives into the narrative.
There are around 9,000 children in care in Tennessee. There are 9,000 lights in the child welfare system waiting for someone to believe in them and help them find their voice. Will you help? Regarding foster homes, the biggest need in foster care right now are teens and sibling groups but loving homes for all ages are welcomed.
At Tennessee Kids Belong, May is Foster Friendly Month and the work goes beyond finding foster parents but digs deeper and wider, building support systems around families. There is something for EVERYONE.
Join a Foster Care Q & A and ask any questions about how to be a foster family. See if your faith community, Rotary club, small group or neighbors want to learn how to wrap around support to foster families in your area by joining our WRAP Coordinator training. Find a local foster closet and donate great quality used clothes from your kids’ closets. Volunteer at an organization that is serving vulnerable children. Donate financially to help further the mission of shining the light, love and support towards the kids in hard places across our state. We can all do something.