National Foster Care Month originated in 1988 when the National Foster Parent Association persuaded then-Sen. Strom Thurmond to introduce a resolution to proclaim May as National Foster Care Month. President George H.W. Bush issued an annual proclamation during each year of his presidency, providing an impetus for state, county and city proclamations. The main focus of these early efforts was appreciation and recognition of the tremendous contributions of foster parents across the nation.
In the 1990’s, National Foster Care Month focused more on the needs of older youth, particularly those about to age out of the system. Under the leadership of the National Foster Care Coalition and Casey Family Programs, the campaign became a significant part of the drumbeat that ultimately resulted in the passage of the Chafee Foster Care Independence Act.
National Foster Care Month heightens visibility for the issue and provides a strong outreach and recruitment platform for individuals and organizations working to support children and families throughout the year.
Casey Family Programs continues to lead the effort in partnership with other national organizations that represent well-over 250,000 individuals and providers. Today, the campaign spotlights the importance of permanency for the more than 380,000 children under 18 in foster care. We call on all Americans to do something positive that will change a lifetime for a youth in foster care in their own community.