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WHEREAS, for more than 100 years, the Children’s Bureau has worked to assist children and youth in foster care; and
WHEREAS, in 2016 Virginia extended foster care services to age 21 through the Fostering Futures program; and
WHEREAS, there are more than 5,300 children from Virginia in foster care; and
WHEREAS, every child in foster care deserves the security and opportunity for growth that a family can provide; and
WHEREAS, a child’s success is best supported in a system that is family-focused, child-centered, and community-based; and
WHEREAS, foster, adoptive, and kinship parents provide Virginia’s children with opportunities to be part of caring families and help them connect to permanent homes through reunification, permanent placement with relatives, or preparation for adoption; and
WHEREAS, dedicated foster families frequently adopt foster children, resulting in a greater need for more foster to adopt families; and
WHEREAS, through the partnerships among foster, adoptive, and kinship parents; child welfare staff; and public and private child-serving organizations, efforts are made to ensure that children are safe and their voices are heard as we work for the success of every child;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize May 2018 as FOSTER CARE MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.