May is National Foster Care Appreciation Month, a month set aside to acknowledge foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help children in foster care find loving homes and permanent connections. There are over 20,000 children in the Texas foster care system. More than 7,200 of these children are waiting to be adopted by their forever family.
For more than 100 years, the Children’s Bureau has worked to assist youth in foster care; engage youth in decisions that affect their lives; and support foster families, kinship caregivers, and child welfare professionals. Before the creation of the Children’s Bureau in 1912, child welfare was in the hands of private organizations. Then in 1919, the Children’s Bureau published Minimum Standards of Child Welfare. This acknowledged the importance of keeping children in their own homes whenever possible. When that was impossible, providing a “home life” with foster families. Finally, in 1988, President Reagan issued the first presidential proclamation which established May as National Foster Care Month.
This month marks many important events for Arms Wide Adoption Services.
The organization will host Information Meeting at its offices off Portwest Drive at 6 p.m. Attending an Information Meeting is the first required step in the process towards becoming an Arms Wide parent. During an Information Meeting, an Arms Wide Coordinator will walk potential families through the process of fostering or adopting a child or children in foster care.
Fulfilling Families Luncheon
Arms Wide Adoption Services also hosted its annual Fulfilling Families Luncheon, co-chaired by Cari Gill and Caroline Simons, on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at the Houston Country Club. Arms Wide Adoption Services welcomed Lisa H. Montgomery as the event’s keynote speaker. Montgomery’s most coveted role is mom. Most notably, she’s mom of Green Bay Packer, Ty Montgomery. Most admirably, she’s mom of 17 teenage boys who she has fostered. Montgomery is a tireless advocate and foster parent recruiter. Her intimate keynote explored life as a foster mom and left guests feeling inspired and ready to take action. KPRC-TV Channel 2’s Chief Meteorologist, Frank Billingsley, served as this year’s emcee. He sold copies of his book, Swabbed & Found: An Adopted Man’s DNA Journey to Discover his Family Tree.
OKRA Charity Saloon
Lastly, in honor of National Foster Care Month, Arms Wide Adoption Services is one of four charities featured during the month of May at OKRA Charity Saloon. Arms Wide Adoption Services encourages Houstonians to go to OKRA Charity Saloon and vote for Arms Wide Adoption Services for a chance to receive OKRA Charity Saloon’s June proceeds – approximately $15,000, which could provide for the recruitment, preparation, and training needed for SIX potential foster and adoptive parents.
“It’s important for us to continue to recognize National Foster Care Month, and the important role it plays in raising awareness of the 1,000 children who age out of foster care here in Texas every year,” said Vikki Finley, Arms Wide Adoption Services’ President and CEO. “Turning 18 years old without a family or support system oftentimes leads to a perpetuation of the cycle of abuse and neglect which exists in our communities, so it’s important for us to find these children loving families before it’s too late.”
Take the first step, fill out this questionnaire to see how you can become a foster or adoptive parent. For more information, please call Arms Wide Adoption Services at 713-681-6991 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.