May is National Foster Care Month, a time that our nation recognizes those who play a part in the lives of children and youth in out-of-home care. In the midst of all we’re collectively facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to pause and say thank you. You deserve that affirmation all year long and even more so during this pandemic.
Over the last several weeks, we have all faced unprecedented change and uncertainty. As parents, we all struggle to balance home, work, distance learning, self-care and more, but as foster parents and kinship caregivers, you face added stressors. Yet, you continue to welcome children into your homes and families.
We have had a small number of cases where either a foster child or someone in the household came down with COVID-19. (The one we know about turned out well – the family quarantined at home for two weeks and everyone is good!) We are working hard to prevent any caused by contact with DCYF workers by changing visitation and regular check-ins to video as much as possible. If you have questions about this you can check our website at or talk to your caseworker.
I want you to know we are here to support you. We are grateful to have foster parents and kinship caregivers who have stepped up during these critical times, focusing on the health of our families and going above and beyond. For example, I know you may not have envisioned facilitating virtual visitation, but I appreciate every one of you who has supported and guided our children through these visitations to ensure they remain connected to their families. I also want to thank those of you who continue to parent children impacted by the loss of familiar routines and the lack of contact with friends, family and community.
Amidst all of this instability and uncertainty, you have been constant in the lives of children. We are deeply appreciative and thankful for your devotion and commitment to children you parent and welcome into your family. We see your contributions and effort and want to reassure you that we will get through this together.
This month, we recognize the 8,100 children in out-of-home care, 5,100 licensed foster homes, nearly the same number of kinship caregivers and hundreds upon hundreds of DCYF Staff and partners who play a part in enhancing the lives of children and youth in out-of-home care.
Once again, thank you!
Please be gentle and patient with yourselves and others as we all try to navigate this unexpected reality. We are here to help and support you, so continue to share with us your questions, concerns and feedback by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for keeping our community’s children safe, for your kindness and compassion, and for being examples of resilience during these most difficult times.
Department of Children, Youth, and Families