Letter to the Editor: Please consider fostering

Published 5:30 pm Friday, May 24, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Dear Editor, 

The month of May is National Foster Care Awareness Month. However, children in foster care, especially older teens, need advocates and support all year round, not just during the month of May. 

As Regional Director of the South and West Region (Farmville office) of UMFS (United Methodist Family Services) a child and family services nonprofit organization that oversees one of the largest therapeutic foster care programs in the Commonwealth, I know firsthand that finding loving homes for so many young people can be challenging, and Virginia has a lot of room for improvement.

Email newsletter signup

Virginia ranks almost last in the percentage of young people who age out of the foster care system — in other words, who become legal adults without ever having a family permanently open their homes to them. These children have but one childhood, and it’s tragic that they spend so much of it without the love and support that comes with a family.

The more than 5,000 children and teens in foster care in Virginia and 700 young people awaiting adoption. If you have room in your homes — and in your hearts — to foster or adopt a child or teen, I hope you will consider exploring the possibility.

To learn more about fostering or adopting, and the supports offered to foster and adoptive parents, visit www.umfs.org/foster.

Holly Coates

Regional Director, UMFS Farmville