Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth Co-Chairs Introduce Resolution Recognizing May as National Foster Care Month

May 5, 2015

WASHINGTON – Co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, U.S. Reps. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Tom Marino (R-Penn.), Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Diane Black (R-Tenn.) and Jim Langevin (D-Rhode Island) joined 119 bipartisan co-sponsors in introducing H. Res. 251 recognizing May as National Foster Care Month and encouraging Congress to implement policies to improve the lives of children in the foster care system.

During National Foster Care Month, members of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth will participate in activities to celebrate foster youth and all those who make a meaningful difference in the lives of foster youth.

These activities will culminate in "Foster Youth Shadow Day," when more than 60 foster youth from across the country will come to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, May 20 to share their experiences in the system with members of Congress and see firsthand how Congress works. Youth will also have the opportunity to share their thoughts on improvements the system needs, including support for those aging out of foster care and addressing ways to keep families together.

Rep. Karen Bass:  “Foster care month is about more than words. We are taking actions that we hope will truly make better a system that needs to work for hundreds of thousands of young people. This resolution is part of our important work to improve the foster care system and provide the best support to the individuals that come out of it.  Together, we will work to find solutions that support foster families and children and help foster youth find permanent and loving homes.”

Rep. Tom Marino: “While this resolution is about recognizing May as National Foster Care Month, I and every member of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth think about ways we can work together to better the lives of youths coming out of foster care. And the truth is, there are so many inspiring and encouraging success stories of individuals who have launched promising careers after foster care or built strong and lasting relationships with other foster youths so they can help and lean on one another through thick and thin. It is stories like those that give strength to keep this effort moving onward and upward.

I am deeply appreciative to my dear friend, Rep. Karen Bass, for her incredible leadership of this caucus and I am grateful to all our members who help us champion this important cause.”

Rep. Jim McDermott:  “As a child psychiatrist and a co-founder of the Caucus on Foster Youth, I have long been concerned that we, as a society, are not doing all it can to protect and expand opportunities for foster children in our communities. During my time in Congress, I am proud to have authored the ‘Fostering Connections’ law and am pleased to see that this important legislation is making a difference in the lives of young adults in the foster care system. I thank my fellow colleagues in the Caucus on Foster Youth for the bipartisan work they have done on behalf of those currently in the foster care system, as well as those who have graduated out.”

Rep. Trent Franks:  “The idea that children belong in families is perhaps the most bi-partisan issue I have ever had the privilege of working on, in Congress. It is also one of the most important. Recognizing May as National Foster Care month presents a powerful opportunity to refocus on thousands of children in the foster care system. Last year over 23,000 children aged out of foster care without a permanent family. We must do more.”

Rep. Diane Black:  ““Nothing is more important to a child’s upbringing and long-term success than a loving, stable home. Too many youths in Tennessee and across the country are lacking this basic human need and are in desperate search of finding parents they can call their own. Recognizing May as National Foster Care Month sheds light on the many challenges faced by those in foster care and I hope will inspire bipartisan efforts to build a system better suited to match foster children with forever families.”

Rep. Jim Langevin:  “For the estimated 400,000 children in foster care, a loving, permanent home cannot come soon enough. These young people have often already faced significant trauma, and yet their lives are characterized by uncertainty for as long as they remain in the system. Permanency must be a priority, and I will continue to fight for a foster care system that puts the needs of children first.”

About the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth:

Founded in 2011, the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth was created to protect and promote the welfare of all children in foster care and those who have “aged out” of the system. The Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth provides a forum for Members of Congress to discuss and develop policy recommendations to strengthen the child welfare system and improve the overall well-being of youth and families.