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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, 2,660 children entered foster care in Virginia in 2017; and
WHEREAS, many families receiving foster care services are faced with challenges in overcoming trauma and meeting day-to-day needs; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia Children’s Service Practice Model states that all children and youth deserve to be safe; children do best when raised in families; and all children and youth deserve and need a permanent family; and
WHEREAS, there were 713 children and youth in foster care in Virginia who were successfully reunified with their families in 2017; and
WHEREAS, for most children in foster care, reunification with their family is their best option for a permanent and loving home; and
WHEREAS, all children need the care, love, security, and stability of family unity, including parents, siblings, grandparents and other extended family members to provide a solid foundation for personal growth, development, and maturity; and
WHEREAS, reunification takes work, commitment, and investment of time and resources by parents, family members, family service specialists, foster parents, service providers, attorneys, courts and 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 2018as FAMILY REUNIFICATION MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.