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By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution of Virginia in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:

Kinship Care Awareness Month

WHEREAS, more than 190,000 children in Virginia reside in a home where a non-parental relative is the head of the household, and more than 62,000 children are being raised by a relative with no parent present; and

WHEREAS, kinship caregiving is utilized in all socioeconomic, educational, ethnic, and racial backgrounds, providing many opportunities as well as unique challenges; and

WHEREAS, every child in Virginia deserves the opportunity to grow and learn in a supportive, loving, safe home environment while retaining a sense of family, cultural heritage, and community ties; and

WHEREAS, individuals and families caring for a relative’s children make numerous personal and financial sacrifices to support children in need; and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth is committed to reconnecting and strengthening families; and

WHEREAS, kinship families have prevented children from entering the foster care system and have allowed children to leave the foster care system and return to their families; and

WHEREAS, Kinship Care Month reflects the core values of family, community, and the welfare of children shared by all citizens of the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, through the partnerships among foster, adoptive, and kinship parents, local Department of Social Services staff, public and private child-serving organizations, and faith communities, 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 working together to celebrate the strengths and address the challenges by supporting kinship families who are raising a relative’s or close family friend’s child on their own or with local Department of Social Services support; and

WHEREAS, kinship families continue to need services like support groups, resources, trainings on issues important to kinship families, assistance with finding and accessing needed services, and information about permanency options;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize September 2023, as KINSHIP CARE AWARENESS MONTH in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA and call this observance to the attention of our citizens.