MAY we all give a huge round of applause in recognition of Foster Care Appreciation Month!
Parents who foster play a critical role in stabilizing the world around children in care during some of the most difficult times in their lives. Opening their hearts and homes to support children and their families is truly a calling.
Connecticut is fortunate to have approximately 93% of children in our care and custody placed with families, with almost 50% of children under the age of 18 years living with kin.
CT Fosters is our new logo and branding message. Distancing the past belief that children need "saving" from parents, we partner with caregivers in the shared mission of mobilizing people and resources in order to unify families.
CT Fosters Belonging
CT Fosters Hope
CT Fosters Love
In this month's Spotlight on What's Right, read the story of Chris and Carolyn Scott who become kinship foster parents when 17-year-old Kayla was placed with them………… on their wedding day! "I felt like I was part of the family," Kayla stated as she remembers looking at all the new people in her life.
"Today I am called to love her deeply and to support her family in whatever way I can," is how Kelly Towart and her family embrace a little girl in their care. Read the story of Kelly's family which is a true testament to how our foster families engage with and support birth families towards reunification. Click here to see more of this amazing story => WFSB - Amazing Moms
MAY is also a reminder to tune-in to our mental health and wellness. Seeking support is a sign of strength year-round! Due to the continued support of Governor Lamont and the Connecticut Legislature, DCF has contracted several additional service types to support families during trying times. This newsletter highlights some of these innovations being implemented across our state.
At CT DCF, we celebrate our diversity-- MAY is also Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (AANHPI) month.
Did you know that the AANHPI population represents over 30 countries that speak over 100 different languages? In 2020, Asian Americans made up 6.5% of the U.S. population estimated at 24 million. Pacific Islanders make up 1.6 million or 0.5% of the U.S. population. Read the WH proclamation in recognition of the pride of this heritage - White House Proclamation
Carrying our theme of BELONGING, here is a link to learn how to inspire, support, and approach diversity, equity and inclusion with children and youth: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Youth
Last, but far from least ---To our youth and staff who have earned high school and post-secondary degrees this month………. Congratulations! YOU DID IT!
Also making space for a HUGE debt of gratitude to the 14th Dean of the UCONN School of Social Work Dr Nina Rovinelli-Heller as she steps down from the helm but will remain active in the SSW community. Excerpt from her most recent message to the UCONN SSW Alumni community, Dr Heller writes:
"… we have developed and maintained very robust collaborations with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, the Office of Early Childhood, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Department of Social Services and the Department of Public Health – each has a research component and a workforce development program. At our Commencement on May 6, one of our most distinguished alumni and long-term partners, DCF Commissioner Vannessa Dorantes, offered an inspiriting message to graduates. I hope you will take some time to watch the recording."
May you all be proud of the work you do,
the person you are and
the difference you make…