Relative and Kin Connections Keep Families Strong
Did you know? Every May, the Children’s Bureau leads the United States in celebrating National Foster Care Month. And as I’m sure you know, supporting DC’s young people in the foster care system is the heart of the BEST Kids Mentoring Program. This May we are joining the Children’s Bureau in raising awareness for National Foster Care Month as they highlight the importance of relative and kinship care placements to maintain family and cultural connections.
The BEST Kids Mentoring Program seeks to foster successful support systems for every mentee we serve while acknowledging the existing support systems they all have prior to joining our program. In addition to checking in with mentees and mentors regularly, BEST Kids builds and nurtures relationships with our mentees’ social case workers and caregivers, some of whom are kinship relatives of our mentees.
There are over 407,000 young people in foster care across the country, and 34 percent were placed with relatives. Kinship care, in its various forms, is important in meeting the needs of children involved in the child welfare system. This year, National Foster Care Month focuses on how relative and kin connections keep families strong. When children cannot remain safely with their parents, we should prioritize placements with kin. Kinship care helps maintain family connections and cultural traditions that can minimize the trauma of family separation.
Take time this month to raise awareness on how prioritizing kinship care, identifying connections rather than just placement options, and maintaining community ties makes a difference in the lives of our young people and can shift the foster care system to one that truly supports families.
For more information, visit and bookmark the National Foster Care Month website today at childwelfare.gov/fostercaremonth. You can stay connected to the conversation by using the hashtag #FosterCareMonth and follow Child Welfare Information Gateway on Facebook and Twitter to see regular updates!
Check out the BEST Kids website at bestkids.org to learn how you can join us in supporting the young people in DC’s foster care system this May!
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