, , , , , , , , , , ,

Earlier this week, Fostering Media Connections’ Daniel Heimpel wrote about his observance of the growth of the Child First Movement in the Huffington Post (See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-heimpel/a-national-foster-care-movement_b_1322304.html?ref=impact). And I have to agree with Heimpel’s observations.

Fostering Families Today just launched into its 12th year of publication and during that time we have definitely witnessed a growing voice in the foster care community. Just a few years ago it seemed like there were merely a handful of us working to help improve the lives of children in foster care — Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, AdoptUsKids, North American Council on Adoptable Children, Child Welfare League of America, National Foster Parent Assocation and a few others. Now as many of these organizations celebrate milestone anniversaries, other organizations have joined their ranks, such as Fostering Media Connections, the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, the National Foster Youth Action Network and countless others.

I think what we’ve learned in the last few years is that former foster youth can be powerful advocates for change. They are the voices of the child welfare world and the examples of what we need to do better. I also think there’s been a heightened awareness of the good work foster parents do and the need to support and train a force of foster parents that can in turn help the children they care for.

It’s an exciting time in children welfare and it only seems fitting as the Children’s Bureau celebrates 100 years of service. It’s a pivotal time to look at where we’ve been and where we need to go.

It is my hope the Fostering Families Today can play a small part in moving child welfare reform forward. I hope we can be a voice and source of information for many of you and I think the upcoming May/June issue focusing on National Foster Care Month is a good start.