National Foster Care Awareness Month 2019

May 3, 2019

The House of the Good Shepherd will kick-off a monthlong recognition of our foster care population on May 7, 2019, by lighting up our Foster Care and Community-Based Services building as well as our main campus in light blue to raise awareness for National Foster Care Month 2019. Many local and government businesses in Downtown Utica and Rome have committed to showing their support this year.

Nationally there are nearly 430,000 youth in foster care. The House of the Good Shepherd fostered over 300 local children last year when parents could not keep their children due to crisis, abuse, neglect, or abandonment. There is a constant and vital need for foster and adoptive parents to open their hearts and homes to these children.

Helping us Light Up Utica and Rome this year are The Utica Comets at Adirondack Banking Center, the Oneida County Office Building, The Stanley Theater, the Department of Transportation's Route 12 Pedestrian Walkway, City of Rome Water Tower and many more. All local business are encouraged to participate by lighting their businesses in light blue as well.

Paris Pearson, Associate Executive Director of Foster Care, said, "Foster Care Month is important for several reasons. First, it allows us to appreciate the selfless families that open their doors for children in need, whether it's for a night or a year. Secondly, it brings awareness to foster care and the neverending resources that we need in our community, especially within the cities of Utica and Rome. Lastly, we can look at our staff and say, 'Thank you.'"

National Foster Care Month was first established in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan. Since that time, it has helped the nation recognize the work of foster families, social workers, and organizations, who are improving the lives of young people in foster care — and encouraged all Americans to participate in efforts to support these children. Pearson said, "Please light up blue on May 7, to spark a conversation about foster care and show your support."

The House of the Good Shepherd in Central New York is a regional provider of treatment services for 750 children and families in need, annually. The House operates on 12 sites and offers an increasing number of community-based services such as foster care and health homes. 

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