In 1988 May was designated as National Foster Care Month; a time to recognize the dedication and hard work of the individuals and organizations who provide foster care services to children and youth in need. This month-long awareness campaign aims to raise public awareness about the importance of foster care and the need for more foster parents. The month also celebrates the successes of children and youth in foster care who have overcome challenges and is an opportunity to highlight the issues facing the foster care system.
A specific issue I'd like to highlight today is the need for culturally competent foster parents. Culturally competent foster parents are crucial in the system as they help to provide a safe and nurturing environment for children who come from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Foster parents who understand and respect the unique cultural beliefs, practices, and values of the children in their care can help them maintain their identify and sense of belonging, which is vital to their emotional and psychological well-being,
There is a severe shortage of black, brown, and culturally competent foster parents in the state of Iowa. Our friends over at Four Oaks need our assistance to correct this! Here are a few things YOU can do to assist:
Members of the NAACP DSM Executive Committee are adults who were impacted by the foster system, foster parents, adoptive parents and/or advocates. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you like to know about any of those experiences.
A Proud Foster Parent
Victoria H. Weber
NAACP Des Moines Branch