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WHEREAS, more than 180,000 children in Virginia are being raised by grandparents, aunts, uncles, or other non-parent relatives; 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, 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, 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, Kinship Care Month reflects the core values of family, community, and the welfare of children shared by all citizens of the Commonwealth and the United States; and
WHEREAS, through the partnerships among foster, adoptive and kinship parents, child welfare staff, and public and private child-serving organizations, we work to ensure that children are safe and their voices are heard;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize September 2019 as KINSHIP CARE MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.