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Human Services Celebrates Foster Care Month

The Department of Human Services Division of Children and Families will be celebrating Foster Care month in May. In conjunction with the Virgin Islands Foster and Adoptive Parent Association, special presentations and fund raising events will take place across the territory to heighten foster care awareness. The month long celebration, nationally themed “Change a Lifetime” officially begins from noon to 2 p.m. on Monday, May 10, with a Blue Ribbon Campaign at Emancipation Park on St. Thomas. Activities during the event will include distribution of information about foster parenting and other volunteering opportunities, entertainment through music and dance by select primary and high schools, and recognition of foster parents by the Human Services administration. The need for nurturing adults to support children whose families are in crisis and volunteers for respite care will also be reinforced throughout the day.

On St. Thomas, areas including Knud Hansen Complex and other public venues will be decorated with blue ribbons representing a child in foster care. On St. Croix, blue ribbons will be distributed to church congregations and private businesses. The HS division hosted its third annual Career and Transitional Fair on April 29 to assist adolescents aging out of foster care. Representatives from financial, employment and medical entities gave presentations and instruction on becoming independent and responsible members of the community. Wrap around services for youngsters transitioning out of foster care are now available through a pilot program administered by the Family Resource Center with support from 2009 ARRA funds.
There are approximately 124 children in foster care and 56 foster families throughout the territory. The public is invited to support the Blue Ribbon campaign event as well as other activities scheduled for the month.
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