May 2013 is Foster Care Awareness Month
During this time, we celebrate the tremendous accomplishments of our foster and adoptive parents and the critical role that they play in the lives of our children.
Each May, National Foster Care Awareness Month provides an opportunity to shine a light on the urgent needs of our young people and encourages citizens from every walk of life to get involved – either as foster or adoptive parents, or messengers of our cause.
Together, we have partnered with CT hair and nail salons to offer a one –time complimentary service. The blue hair or blue nails will serve as a visual reminder of the over 4,000 children in CT who reside in foster care. Every child deserves a home.
Go BLUE and help us spread our message! Please call or visit one of the participating businesses to make an appointment. Each salon may offer a different BLUE service, check for details while supplies last.
TODAYS TOPIC: My Helping Hand
May 1 - A New Beginning for Us All
MYTH: Foster parents have to stay at home with the children and I work full-time. I guess that excludes me.
FACT: No, it doesn't. Foster parents often work outside of the home. Financial support can be made available to help defray daycare costs and afterschool program costs.
May 2 - A New Beginning
MYTH: My children are grown and out of the house. I'm too old to be a foster parent.
May 3 - Real Life Stories
MYTH: I don't have any children, and to be a foster parent you need to have parenting experience.
May 6 - Art from the Heart - press release
Art Blue-themed art shows being held as part of National Foster Care Month activities in Connecticut
The shows are among numerous activities being organized by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) in collaboration with other foster care and adoption organizations during May, which is National Foster Care Month.
Alana Jones, regional coordinator of Hearts, Hands and Homes Community Collaborative, said the displays will include a variety of mediums, from paintings and photographs to poetry, papier-mâché masks and sculptures. The one thing they have in common? Their color.
“Blue is the official color for foster care,” explained Jones. “So last May, we started Color Me Blue, a series of events designed to raise awareness about foster care and the need for more foster homes,” she said. “We asked people to put blue streaks in their hair, and make blue cupcakes and pancakes. This year, we wanted to expand our activities, and so we added two art exhibits.”
Approximately 4,000 children whose parents are unable to look after them are currently in state care. Many of these children suffer from emotional and psychological issues due to parental abuse or neglect. DCF has stepped up its outreach to kin to see if they are willing to foster children, resulting in many “kinship” placements with grandparents, uncles, aunts, coaches, teachers and mentors. But there is still a significant need for traditional foster parents – especially for difficult-to-place children such as teenagers, sibling groups, medically complex children, and infants.
She also held a number of mask-making and art canvas workshops that were open to the public.
The mall show, meanwhile, will be visible to the public, and will also run throughout the month of May.
Jones said everyone involved in the Color Me Blue initiative hopes to make it bigger and better each year. “We want everyone to think of blue for foster care the way they think of pink for breast cancer awareness,” she said.
For more information about this and other National Foster Care Month events, contact Alana Jones at (860) 710-1593 or Alana@heartshandandhomes.org; contact Jacqueline Ford at (203) 641-5710 or Jacqueline.Ford@ct.gov; or visit www.ctfosteradopt.com.
May 7 - The Road to Fostering/Adoption
MYTH: Teenage foster children really don't want to be adopted.
FACt: While many teens have experienced multiple rejections and are hesitant to be adopted, it is important for them to have a family to assist them through the remaining years of adolescence and to be supportive into their adult years. Everyone needs a family and family ties do not end at 18. There is a need for adoptive families who have the patience to parent a teen who may be slow to trust.
May 8 - A Home for Every Child, by Ken Mysogland
MYTH: Foster and adoptive parents must be able to speak English.
FACT: DCF does not discriminate on the basis of language. People whose first language is Spanish – or another language – are equally eligible to become foster or adoptive parents.
May 9 - Always a Shortage of Foster Homes?
MYTH: It’s really hard to become a foster or adoptive parent.
FACT: It’s not as hard as you think! While there are guidelines for approval, DCF will help you through them.
May 10 - Regular Foster Care
MYTH: You must be married to be a foster or adoptive parent.
FACT: No. Everyone is welcome! You do not have to be married to be a foster or adoptive parent. People who cohabit, or are divorced, or single, may be foster or adoptive parent(s).
May 13 - Kinship Care Report
MYTH: People with criminal records or past involvement with DCF cannot be foster or adoptive parents.
FACT : DCF evaluates each family on a case-by-case basis. Each person’s situation is unique and can be discussed with a DCF agency representative for further assessment and consideration.
MYTH: You cannot be a foster or adoptive parent if you are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT)
FACT: DCF welcomes gay and lesbian parents as caregivers for Connecticut’s children! DCF does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender Identiy or expression or marital status. Many gay and lesbian people have come forward to be a family for a child. DCF's Non-Discrimination of LGBTQI Individuals policy 30-9.
May 15 - Foster Care Stories
MYTH: People who work full time cannot be foster or adoptive parents.
FACT: Many licensed foster parents and adoptive parents work full time. Adults who work full time outside of the home can still be foster parents. A preschooler would need to be enrolled in a full-time licensed daycare facility. DCF helps with daycare costs. Adults who are working full time are also eligible to adopt.
May 16 -
MYTH: Only people who have children or whose children are grown can be foster or adoptive parents.
FACT: Parenting experience is not a factor. Individuals who have never been a parent can still be foster or adoptive parents. You will receive free training and support to help foster a child from the DCF team!
May 17 - Is a Child you know in the Foster Care System?
MYTH: Only younger adults can be foster or adoptive parents.
FACT: On the contrary – adults of all ages have a wealth of experience to share! DCF does not discriminate on the basis of age. Anyone 21 years or older may apply to become a foster or adoptive parent.
May 20 - My Helping Hand
MYTH: I can’t have the neighborhood teenager babysit for my foster or adoptive child when I go out socially.
FACT: Foster parenting and having a social life are not mutually exclusive. If you know a local teen who you feel is appropriately trained to supervise children, he or she will be allowed to babysit a foster child in the foster family’s home. Adoptive parents also have the right to select an appropriate babysitter for their child.
May 21 - FAM 2012
MYTH: Biological parents are “bad” people who should never get their kids back.
FACT: That’s rarely true. Biological parents love their children but they are having difficulties maintaining their safety and well-being. DCF ensures the safety of children, while helping parents access the resources and services they need to help overcome their current circumstances. The department works with biological parents, caregivers and community providers to assist with reunification when appropriate. However, when reunification is not possible, the department looks to place a child into an adoptive home.
May 22 - Seed Packets
MYTH: Foster or pre-adoptive kids can’t go on family vacations with their caregivers.
FACT: DCF believes that vacations are good for the whole family – including foster and pre-adoptive children! With adequate notice, discussion with the biological parents, and authorization of DCF, foster families are actually encouraged to take foster and pre-adoptive children on family vacations. After the children have been adopted, parents are free to take their children on vacation whenever and wherever they wish.
May 23 - Alex and Ani,Charity By Design Event
Thursday, May 23, 2013
6 - 8 p.m.
284 York Street, New Haven
Call in orders available during the 6 - 8 p.m. party time (203) 691-8870
$5 flat shipping rate applies
May 24 - Heart, Hands and Home
MYTH: Only wealthy families can be foster or adoptive parents.
FACT: Foster and adoptive parents don’t have to be rich – just financially stable. Foster and adoptive parents need only demonstrate that they are able to pay bills and support their individual and family needs. DCF provides monthly reimbursement checks to help defray costs of food, clothing, extracurricular activities and other necessities that are incurred by a foster child or a child placed for adoption, prior to finalization. In certain circumstances, adoptive parents may receive an ongoing financial subsidy according to the child’s special needs.
May 28 - Poem for A Foster Parent
MYTH: You need to have medical and dental insurance in order to care for a foster or adoptive child.
FACT: DCF assumes all medical and dental insurance for its foster and adoptive children. In most cases, the foster and adoptive families can choose their medical and dental providers, as long as these providers accept the insurance coverage offered by DCF.
May 29 - Foster Adoptive Mission
MYTH: A foster or adoptive child must have his or her own bedroom.
May 30 -
MYTH: I don't have any children, and to be a foster parent you need to have parenting experience.