Rep. Bass, Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth Introduce Bipartisan Resolution To Recognize May As National Foster Youth Month

May 25, 2018
WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth (CCFY) introduced legislation with more than 100 bipartisan cosponsors to recognize May as National Foster Care Month and encourage Congress to implement policies to improve the lives of children in the foster care system.
Foster Care Month will culminate in Foster Youth Shadow Day on May 23rd, when nearly 100 current and former foster youth from across the country will come to Washington, D.C. to be paired with their home members of Congress to share their experiences in the nation's foster care system. The Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth has six co-chairs, them being Reps. Karen Bass, Tom Marino (R-Penn.), Diane Black (R-Tenn.), Jim Langevin (D-Rhode Island), Don Bacon (R-Neb.) and Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.)
“Foster Care Month is about not only the more than 400,000 youth living in foster care; it’s about foster parents, it’s about kinship caregivers and their families, it’s about the organizations and communities that embrace the youth and help them reach their full potential,” Rep. Bass said. “Importantly, Foster Care Month is also about making sure Congress and the country is aware about the challenges that children face in the system. Love makes a family, and every child deserves the opportunity to have a family who loves and supports them throughout their lives. Foster Care Month is an opportunity for Congress to work together to lift up young people who rely on our nation’s foster care system.”
“Family is one of the most important parts of a child’s life and the young people in our foster care system are some of the brightest,” Rep. Marino said. “However, in too many cases, those in foster care miss out on the opportunity to grow as an integral part of a family. That is why it is imperative we ensure our foster youth have the love and support they all so rightfully deserve. I am excited to be a part of our efforts in Congress to celebrate Foster Care Month and more importantly, promote the young people within our foster care system.”
"Nothing is more important to a child’s upbringing and long term success than a loving, stable home,” Rep. Black said. “Sadly, too many children and young adults in Tennessee and across the country are lacking this basic human need. We may not all be called to adopt, but we are all called to do something. By recognizing May as National Foster Care Month, we can shed light on the challenges faced by those in foster care and, hopefully, inspire bipartisan efforts to build a system better suited to match foster children with forever families.”
“Growing up, my parents welcomed many foster youth into our family, and I’ve seen how important it is for these young people to have a stable, loving home,” said Congressman Langevin. “All children deserve the care and support of a family, yet finding “forever families” for foster youth is one of our biggest challenges. As the number of youth in foster care continues to grow, we must reaffirm our commitment to doing our moral duty and treating them as we would our own children.”
“As a father of four and foster parent myself, I know how important it is for children to have a strong, loving support system,” said Rep. Bacon. “This Month is an important one for my House colleagues and nation to understand and empathize with our children in the foster care system. Supporting our foster youth isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue, it’s an American issue.  This month and beyond, I look forward to working with my colleagues to address issues facing our foster youth and recognize all that these kids have to offer.”
“Child welfare and foster youth issues are very important to me,” Rep. Lawrence said. “I am passionate about protecting our nation’s children and Congress should be doing whatever we can to ensure that our system does not fail those who need our support the most. Raising awareness on the issues surrounding foster youth is an essential step towards improving our foster care system and providing the needed support for one of our nation’s most vulnerable groups. This is why I stand in strong support of recognizing May as National Foster Care Month.  We all must work together to highlight the needs of foster youth which are too often forgotten.”
You can read the bill here.