Support foster care at event

Published 5:27 pm Tuesday, May 17, 2022

An event this Saturday seeks to bring in support and attention for an often-overlooked group: children in foster care.

Nearly 1,000 children are living in foster care in Hampton Roads, and while there is a network of foster parents here in Suffolk ready to support children in need, this community could always use more help and support.

May is National Foster Care Awareness Month, and the Tidewater Friends of Foster Care and the Barry Robinson Center will host a Celebration of Families in All of their Forms from 1 to 4 p.m. this Saturday at Smartmouth Brewing in Norfolk.

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The Tidewater Friends of Foster Care is a charitable organization seeking to make a difference in the lives of foster children in Hampton Roads, according to its website. It was founded six years ago by foster parents and serves more than 600 children in foster care annually. It has the noble goals of building a population of licensed foster care parents that exceeds the number of children entering care in Hampton Roads; to ensure that foster youth have only one placement between entering and exiting foster care, rather than having to bounce from home to home, and that they exit foster care through successful family reunification and not through aging out; and to afford foster youth the support necessary to transform to successful adulthood.

Those goals seek to address some of the most commonly cited criticisms and pitfalls of the foster care system, and we would be hard pressed to think of a more worthy cause than making sure local children, already in a bad situation not of their own making, are able to get the support they need to overcome the hardships they and their birth family are facing. In addition to recruiting more foster parents, Tidewater Friends of Foster Care provides support to youngsters including tutoring, extracurricular activities, birthday and holiday gifts and more.

Saturday’s event will seek specifically to increase public awareness of how the community can strengthen the foster care system in the region. It will also feature fun stuff like face painting, a bounce house and live music from The Love Monsters.

We hope you’ll attend and find out more. For more information, visit www.tidewaterffc.org.