house resolution no.259

Reps. Young, Rogers, MacDonell, Coffia, Whitsett, Hope, Farhat, Smit, Thompson, McKinney, Edwards, O'Neal, Grant, Neeley, Brenda Carter, Aiyash, Alexander, Bezotte, Brabec, Byrnes, Fitzgerald, Fox, Glanville, Haadsma, Hill, Hood, Miller, Paiz, Rheingans, Weiss, Witwer and Xiong offered the following resolution:

A resolution to declare May 2024 as Foster Care Awareness Month in the state of Michigan.

Whereas, Recognizing National Foster Care Awareness Month is an opportunity to shine a light on the challenges children in the foster care system face and encouraging the Legislature to implement policy to continue to improve the lives of children in the foster care system. Legislation to improve the education of children in foster care in of was signed into law this year, more work needs to be done; and

Whereas, It is also a time to acknowledge foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, and child welfare professionals who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections. We use this time to renew our commitment to ensuring a bright future for the more than 391,000 children and youth in foster care across the country and we celebrate those who make a meaningful difference in their lives; and

Whereas, Children in foster care who are placed with relatives, compared to children placed with nonrelatives, have more stability, including fewer changes in placements, have more positive perceptions of their placements, are more likely to be placed with their siblings, and demonstrate fewer behavioral problems; and

Whereas, An increased emphasis on prevention and reunification services is necessary to reduce the number of children that are forced to remain in the foster care system; and

Whereas, More than 18,000 youth “age out” of foster care every year without a legal permanent connection to an adult or family, according to the National Foster Youth Institute; and

Whereas, Children who age out of foster care lack the security and support of a biological or adoptive family and frequently struggle to secure affordable housing, obtain health insurance, pursue higher education, and acquire adequate employment; and

Whereas, Children entering foster care often confront the widespread misperception that children in foster care are disruptive, unruly, and dangerous, even though placement in foster care is based on the actions of a parent or guardian, not the child; and

Whereas, According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, children in foster care may be at greater risk for mental health problems; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That the members of this legislative body declare May 2024 as Foster Care Awareness Month in the state of Michigan. We encourage more citizens to volunteer their time to become mentors to children in foster care and we realize that the state of Michigan must do more to support these children and prepare them to live healthy and productive lives.