May is National Foster Care Month, a time to raise awareness on the plight of children and youth in the foster care system. There are approximately 400,000 children and youth in foster care because their own families are unable to provide for their essential well-being. In addition, an estimated 24,000 young people age out of the foster care system each year with limited supports.

National Foster Care Month highlights the needs of children and youth who need to be in foster care until they can either safely reunite with their parents or establish other lifelong family relationships. The National Association of Social Workers recognizes the critical work of social workers and the increasing need for safe, stable and nurturing environments for children and youth. Social workers play a critical role in working with children, biological parents, foster parents, adoptive parents and kinship care to ensure the proper placement for all children in care.

This year, NASW will support National Foster Care Month through this dedicated web section for social workers committed to serving children, youth and families involved with the child welfare system. This section highlights resources related to the critical issues that children and youth face as well as information to support the child welfare workforce.

NASW calls on all Americans to help make a difference in the life of at least one young child or young person in foster care. Please visit the Children’s Bureau – together, with its information service, Child Welfare Information Gateway’s 2014 National Foster Care Month website to find out how you can make a lasting difference in the lives of America’s child welfare involved children, youth and families.

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