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WHEREAS, the Virginia Children’s Services Practice Model states that all children and youth deserve to be safe, do best when raised in families, and deserve and need a permanent family; and
WHEREAS, all children need the care, love, security, and stability of family unity, including parents, siblings, and other family members to provide a solid foundation for personal growth, development and maturity; and
WHEREAS, regional and local events are held to celebrate efforts to successfully reunite children back with their families, including ceremonies to recognize collaborative efforts and accomplishments of parents and professionals; and
WHEREAS, foster care is intended to be a temporary intervention for children who need the safety and security of an out-of-home placement; and
WHEREAS, many families receiving foster care services are faced with challenges in overcoming trauma and meeting day to day needs; and
WHEREAS, for most children in foster care, reunification with their family is their goal for a permanent and loving home; and
WHEREAS, in 2020, there were 1,930 children under the age of 18 who entered the foster care system in Virginia, and 726 of those children were successfully reunified with their families; and
WHEREAS, reunification requires work, commitment, and investment of time and resources by parents, family members, and many professionals as well as the community; and
WHEREAS, the accomplishments of families who overcome an array of challenges to reunify safely and successfully should be supported and celebrated;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize June 2021 as FAMILY REUNIFICATION MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.