Honoring foster families

May is recognized across the country as National Foster Care Month, a time to honor America’s foster families. Foster parents play a critical role in the treatment and development of disadvantaged youth through their nurturing and mentoring.

Nationally, there are over 400,000 children and youth in the United States foster care system. National Foster Care Month draws attention to the importance in our communities of the need for foster parenting. Foster families provide a primary source of love, identity, self-esteem and support, which is the very foundation of our communities and families.

The National Youth Advocate Program, West Virginia acknowledges all foster parents for the love, care, generosity and dedication they provide to the foster children of West Virginia. Foster parents are the glue that connects youth to the community, impacts young lives forever, and offers hope for a successful future. Foster Parents also preserve the child’s future so it can be viewed as a present challenge as well as promote trust between themselves and the children in their home. Foster parents promote social and emotional well-being for children by creating more permanent family connections.

National Youth Advocate Program (NYAP) operates Youth Advocate Programs in West Virginia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Florida. The National Youth Advocate Program, West Virginia is a private, non-profit child-placing agency providing community-based services to abused, neglected and disadvantaged children and families of West Virginia. West Virginia office sites include: Wheeling, Martinsburg, Parkersburg and Fairmont.

For more information about how you can enhance the lives of youth in foster care by becoming a foster parent or the National Youth Advocate Program, please call NYAP at 1-877-NYAP-CAN or visit our website at www.nyap.org.

Scott Nelson

Fairmont, W.Va.

Scott Nelson is a NYAP Licensing Coordinator.