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WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia seeks to provide children with a safe and nurturing environment; and
WHEREAS, more than 170,000 children in Virginia are being raised by grandparents, aunts, uncles, or other relatives who are not their parent; and
WHEREAS, these kinship families provide the best opportunity for children to retain a sense of cultural heritage and community ties; and
WHEREAS, individuals and families caring for a relative’s children receive little to no financial support and make numerous personal and financial sacrifices to support children in need; and
WHEREAS, kinship families have prevented children from entering the foster care system or have allowed children to leave the foster care system and return to their 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; and
WHEREAS, Virginia is committed to reconnecting and strengthening families; and
WHEREAS, Kinship Care Month recognizes the depth of familial love and responsibility, and reflects the core values of family, community, and the welfare of children shared by all citizens of the Commonwealth;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize September 2018 as KINSHIP CARE MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.