May Is Foster Parent Appreciation Month
With more than 75,000 children in foster homes, California has the nation’s largest number of children in the foster care system. According to UC Berkeley data, nearly 1,700 children in Santa Clara County currently live in out-of-home care. This includes foster families, relatives, extended family members, or group homes.
Following a reception to applaud the daily commitment and dedication of local foster parents, the County of Santa Clara Supervisors today proclaimed May as Foster Parent Appreciation Month. Supervisors praised residents for their willingness to open their hearts and homes to the County’s most vulnerable children.
“Foster parents play an essential role in the lives of children under their care,” said Supervisor Dave Cortese, Chairperson of the Children, Seniors and Families Committee. “We must honor those in our community who unselfishly open their homes to provide a safe, loving and stable atmosphere for children whose biological parents are unable to care for them because of multiple circumstances.”
Each year, hundreds of dedicated foster parents care for our most vulnerable children. There is a constant need to seek new foster homes to keep up with the demand. Aware and supportive of the county’s diversity, the Social Services Agency looks for foster parents with a broad range of ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds, including bilingual homes, homes that are willing to welcome teenagers and/or sibling groups of three or more children or that can provide for children with special needs.
The Social Services Agency’s Department of Family and Children’s Services looks for caring adults who are willing to give children a chance to find a place they can call home. Foster parents are truly unsung heroes because their generosity and commitment can make a huge difference in the lives of minors.
“All of our children deserve to be nurtured by adults who are committed to providing a home that models healthy family attributes like love and respect,” said Will Lightbourne, Director of Santa Clara County’s Social services Agency. “By opening their hearts to children in need, our county’s exceptional foster families make a difference in the lives of the children who will shape our valley’s future.”
Becoming a foster parent can be a life changing experience for both the adults and children. The foster parent application process includes completing an application and background check and training, along with meeting with a social worker for home visitations and consultation.