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Why Our Foster Parents Matter
 
You may have heard the heart-tugging interviews of celebrities who spent part of their childhood in foster care. You've undoubtedly seen the feel-good story of a foster parent who "made all the difference" for a child who grew up to be an icon, a change-maker. Maybe you've skimmed an article online about the national foster care crisis. Or maybe you recognized familiar foster care language in a politician's campaign, who vows to "keep our kids out of group houses" and find them homes. Foster care is not for the stories, interviews, and campaigns. It's not only happening in the lives of stars and influencers. We have so many youth experiencing foster care, especially teenagers, who need safe, temporary homes while they await reunification with their families. However, there needs to be more foster homes for all of them.
 
Older youth are NOT the ones getting placed in our available foster homes. Teens often end up placed in group homes and shelters because there are not enough foster homes available. These teens in foster care are friends of our children. They are our nieces, nephews, and youth of family friends. They are our neighbors.
 
Youth experiencing the foster care system need foster parents who will stand by them and walk through uncertainty to help them heal. They need positive adult role models.
 

THIS is why our foster parents matter. THIS is why adults - young, old, married, single, gay, straight - who commit themselves to teens by opening their homes and hearts are the ones instilling hope. THIS is why we celebrate foster parents.

According to Ashley Morgan, MHA, with National Youth Advocate Program in Scottsburg, "We are also sharing the need for more foster parents in our community. Specifically, there is a need for foster families who are able to keep siblings together.  We know that when foster care is a necessity as a means of providing safe homes for youth until they can return home, and when siblings are separated, they often experience unnecessary trauma.  We are committed to helping siblings stay together when foster care is needed.

"National Youth Advocate Program (NYAP) provides 24/7 support to our foster families, comprehensive educational opportunities and a holistic approach to serving our foster families so they can better care for youth experiencing foster care.  We also provide support to the families of origin of the youth in care."

May is National Foster Care Month. National Youth Advocate Program (NYAP) appreciates foster parents everywhere. Just like our own children, teens experiencing foster care thrive when they're placed in loving, safe, empowering homes with foster parents who genuinely want them to succeed.

 To learn more about becoming a NYAP foster parent, please visit www.nyap.org/fostercare or call us at 877-NYAP-CAN.

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