One of the most powerful ways we can help children in foster care is by ensuring safe and stable family-based care. For this reason, CHAMPS salutes the many public officials, community leaders, businesses and faith-based organizations who are showing support for and appreciation to amazing foster families across the country. Below are examples of how Governors are recognizing foster parents. This list is not exhaustive but rather highlights recent activities featured in the media.
- In February 2019, Governor DeSantis of Florida called for a week of foster parent appreciation activities. Check out the Governor’s proclamation here, as well as his press release announcing the appreciation week. Also check out this great video by the Florida Department of Children and Families where the child welfare director of practice and policy says, ““Foster parents are so important to our system of care,” and “You [foster parents] have the most challenging and difficult jobs. We appreciate everything you do, not just this time of year but all year long.”
- In January 2019, Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota spoke at length in her State of the State address about foster parents and announced her plan to use her “influence to educate our state about the need for more foster parents.” She said, “In every formal speech I give, I’m going to talk about it. You’re going to get tired of hearing me talk about it.” In March, she issued an op-ed (here) in the Argus Leader titled, “Every Child Deserves a Home” where she talks further about her commitment to supporting foster parents.
- In November 2018, Governor and First Lady Bevin of Kentucky hosted an event at the Governor’s mansion to honor family from across the Commonwealth for their service as foster and adoptive parents. The Governor and First Lady have long been advocates of foster care and adoption, personally parenting nine children, of whom four are adopted. In recognizing the honorees, First Lady Bevin said, “We sincerely appreciate each of you and who you are to Kentucky’s children. What you do is not easy. It’s probably the most difficult job a person could have, but it is also the most important. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” Read more here.
- In 2017, Governor and First Lady Edwards of Louisiana launched Louisiana Fosters in an effort to mobilize support for Louisiana’s foster families and to help make a more nurturing environment for children in foster care. Louisiana Fosters identifies ways for businesses, faith-based communities and others to support foster families. Louisiana Fosters builds on the Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI) that the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) launched in 2016 to change the way the state recruits and trains foster parents. QPI promotes quality care for children in foster care by redefining the expectations and roles of caregivers while strengthening the system and providing resources and tools. Learn more about Louisiana Fosters here.