Why Foster Care Matters

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woman sitting on floor reading book to girl. foster care. Des Moines MomThere are almost half a million children in foster care across the United States and more than 7,000 of those children are in Iowa. Children in the foster care system need love and support year-round, but May is a special opportunity to raise awareness for these children and the struggles they and the people who fight to support them face.

In 2018, the Family First Prevention Services Act was signed into law and it aims to restructure how the child welfare system is funded by prioritizing the placement of children with relatives when they cannot remain in their home. Unfortunately, appropriate relatives are not always available and that is where foster care comes in. Foster care is an invaluable resource for children who need to be temporarily removed from their homes while their parents work to address the issues that brought them into the system. Foster homes provide refuge, stability, and comfort to our most vulnerable population.

It’s an age-old cliché, but children are our future. When we invest in them and help provide opportunities for success, we are helping to ensure a brighter future for all of us.

foster care awareness. Des Moines Mom5 Things to do During National Foster Care Month

  1. Wear your support
    Wear light blue to show your support and raise awareness during National Foster Care Month. You can also order National Foster Care Month pins through FosterClub.com.
  2. Spread the word
    The National Foster Care Month website provides great information on this year’s theme and other ways you can show your support.  Their outreach toolkit has downloadable graphics and banners that you can share on your social media, along with sample posts and messages you can share with colleagues, friends, family, and policy makers.
  3. Donate
    There are many local places where you can donate gently used items, food, and money that will benefit children in foster care, including:
    Bidwell Riverside Center
    Kaden’s ClosetFor Kids’ Sake
    Zion Lutheran Church
    Ellipsis
    The Free Store
    Young Women’s Resource Center
    YSS
  4. Volunteer
    One great way to make an impact on children in the foster care system is by volunteering your most valuable resource: your time. Below is a list of some wonderful volunteer opportunities in the metro area:
    Boys and Girls Club
    Man Up Iowa Mentoring Program
    YSS
    Ellipsis
    Young Women’s Resource Center
    Bidwell Riverside Center
  5. Become a foster parent
    If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about becoming a foster parent, now is a great time. There is a shortage of foster homes across the state. You don’t have to be extraordinary to do it. You just need to be able to provide the safe, stable, and loving home that these children deserve. Learn more here.
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Eva lives in WDSM with her husband, Zack, and daughter, Kate (2019). She is a prosecutor with the Polk County Attorney's Office where she handles primarily child welfare cases. Outside of work, Eva enjoys recreating Pinterest recipes that are beyond her level of expertise, trying to find the perfect skincare routine, and buying way more on Amazon than she needs to. Eva shares openly about her experiences involving Zack's deployment, her high-risk pregnancy, Kate's NICU stay, and just about anything else you might care to ask about. She's a big fan of podcasts, personality tests, the Shark VacMop, and ordering her coffee "kid temp" at Starbucks. Connect with her on Instagram @evaateresaa

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