National Foster Care Month

Updated: May 2, 2019

During the month of May, people across the country celebrate National Foster Care Month by acknowledging foster parents and others in the community who make a difference in the lives of foster children.

The 2019 theme “Foster Care as a Support to Families, Not a Substitute for Parents” highlights partnerships that increase successful reunification.

Although National Foster Care Month wasn’t established until 1988 by President Reagan, foster care and child welfare programs began in the early 1900’s by private and religious organizations.

There are approximately 6,000 children in foster care in Alabama alone and over 437,000 foster children nationwide. A child is removed from their parent or primary caregiver every two minutes in the US and the #1 cause is neglect. Children often move from one foster home to another an average of 4-6 times and will spend an average of 28 months in the system.

According to, on average:

  • 1 in 5 foster children will be homeless within 1 year of aging out of the welfare system

  • Less than 3% will earn a college degree

  • More than 25% will have post-traumatic stress disorder

  • More than 70% of females are pregnant by 21 years of age