By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

During the month of May, we observe National Foster Care Month and we celebrate those who have opened their homes and their hearts to children in need and those who have devoted their careers to serving America’s foster youth.

Americans throughout the country are serving their communities as foster parents, mentors, respite care providers, and volunteers.  In the last year alone, America’s foster families opened their homes and hearts to more than 300,000 young people.

But we can do more.  Every child deserves a safe and supportive family.  Ensuring that children grow up with the opportunity to reach their full potential is a top priority of my Administration.  For thousands of children whose biological families are unable to support them, foster families provide a secure and nurturing environment that is essential for a successful start in life.

Foster families serve young people from all walks of life, from infants awaiting adoption, to children seeking reunification with their families and teens in need of safe havens from negative influences.  In many cases, they offer our Nation’s most at-risk children a second chance at the American Dream.

A tremendous demand exists for foster parents and families across the country.  Together as a Nation, we must raise awareness about this need and inspire volunteers to step forward and invest in the lives of our Nation’s youth through our foster care system.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Donald J. Trump, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2017 as National Foster Care Month.  I call upon all Americans to observe this month by taking time to help children and youth in foster care and to recognize the commitment of those who touch their lives, particularly celebrating their foster parents and other caregivers.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.

 DONALD J. TRUMP

For more information on foster care in Delaware, please contact the Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families.

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Leslie Spoltore is a Partner with the law firm Fox Rothschild LLP.  Leslie practices in Fox Rothschild’s Wilmington, Delaware office.  You can reach Leslie at (302) 622-4203, or lspoltore@foxrothschild.com.

 

 

CASA-logoPrior posts have addressed the important role of child advocates in Family Court.  CASAs, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, are one example of the wonderful advocates who volunteer their time to represent Delaware’s children in Family Court.

Across Delaware, over 200 volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) build close relationships with and serve as one-on-one advocates for children in foster care. The CASA program recruits and specially trains these volunteers from the community, who are then appointed as advocates by a Family Court Judge. The CASA is appointed to work in conjunction with the child’s attorney to represent the child’s best interests.

CASA Volunteers are selected, trained, supervised and evaluated by Program Coordinators from the CASA staff. CASA volunteers commit to spending at least one year:

1. establishing a strong, stable connection with assigned child(ren),

2.  gathering information and making recommendations to the court about the child’s best interest, and

3.  advocating to make sure the child receives needed services. Too often, a CASA volunteer is the only consistent adult in the life of the child.

The advantages of having CASA volunteers include high quality advocacy, better service to children, cost effectiveness and efficiency. Children with a CASA benefit in countless ways. They are more likely to be placed in a safe, permanent home; more likely to receive better services; and more likely to have fewer placement changes.

The Office of the Child Advocate recently announced that more CASAs are needed. For more information on how to become a volunteer, please visit the Office of the Child Advocate website at http://courts.delaware.gov/childadvocate, call the CASA office at the Office of the Child Advocate (302) 255-1731 or 255-1730, or email: megan.caudell@state.de.us.

To all the men and women who already serve as CASA volunteers, thank you for all you do!

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Leslie Spoltore is a Partner with the law firm Fox Rothschild LLP.  Leslie practices in Fox Rothschild’s Wilmington, Delaware office.  You can reach Leslie at (302) 622-4203, or lspoltore@foxrothschild.com.