National Foster Care Month provides an opportunity across The MENTOR Network to recognize and honor our foster parents and Host Home providers, who we call Mentors. Whether supporting youth and adolescents in foster care or adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through our Host Home programs, our Mentors are making a difference in the lives of individuals in their communities every day.
According to The National Foster Care Month Partnership there are nearly 400,000 children and adolescents in foster care in the United States. Each May, National Foster Care Month highlights the issues facing these youth and the urgent need to ensure that all children have a safe, stable place to call home. In addition, it is a time to recognize foster parents, social workers, health and human services professionals, and countless others who strive to help children in foster care and adults with developmental disabilities lead healthy, stable lives in the communities they call home.
“Foster Care Month provides an opportunity to recognize and commend our Mentors, the thousands of individuals who are changing lives every day by opening their hearts and their homes to children and adults in need,” Bruce Nardella, President and Chief Operating Officer at The MENTOR Network. “Acting as not only caregivers, but teachers, advocates and friends, our Mentors deserve our continued appreciation and gratitude. They are responsible for guiding the individuals we serve, and the work they do on a day-to-day basis influences and shapes the lives of children and adults throughout our communities.”
A range of activities took place across The Network during Foster Care Month 2013, including:
Georgia MENTOR’s programs throughout the state honored their Mentors during Foster Care Month with a variety of appreciation events. The Augusta, Savannah and Athens programs invited Mentors, individuals served and guests from the community to an appreciation luncheon which included raffles and great door prizes. The Atlanta program held a Luau complete with grass skirts, lays and a cotton candy machine for the children. They also hosted a bowling event for the adults they serve and their Mentors in Atlanta.
Illinois MENTOR recognized their Mentors with appreciation events in Matteson, Marion, O’Fallon and Rockford. Mentors were honored at picnics and banquets for going ‘Above and Beyond’ the call of duty and acknowledged for their dedication to supporting their communities’ most vulnerable citizens.
In an effort to recognize their Mentors across the state, Pennsylvania MENTOR held Mentor appreciation luncheons at three different Hoss’s restaurant locations. The casual luncheons were time for Mentors get to know one another in a relaxed environment while being recognized for the outstanding service and support they provide to children and adults throughout Pennsylvania.
If you are interested in becoming a Mentor, or know someone who might, visit our recruitment website makeadifferenceathome.com.
For more information on Foster Care Awareness Month, please visit FosterCareMonth.Org.