Many of us can live our entire lives and never know a child than has gone through the foster care system. Foster care provides an opportunity for a child to be matched with a loving family when that child may need to be removed from a dangerous or threatening environment.
According to statistics from Virginia.gov, nationally, the average rate of children placed in foster care has declined from 7.2 per 1,000 in 2002 to 5.4 in 2011. In Virginia, during this same period, the rate has decreased from 4.0 per 1,000 to 2.6 per 1,000. This ranks Virginia 1st in declining rates.
Although this is progress we have much work to do. One of the organizations that is playing an active role in foster care is UMFS, known to many of you as United Methodist Family Services. Through their foster care treatment programs, the most important thing that UMFS provides is hope. Hope that a child will be placed in a loving foster or adoptive family.
If you would like more information about becoming a foster parent, volunteering or making a donation, here are two websites you can visit: UMFS.org and VaPerforms.Virginia.gov.
The life you may save today will be a life that is saved forever.