YouthThough National Foster Care Month has ended, it is important to remember that we each can play a part in enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care beyond the month of May. Children and youth in the foster care system often face challenges emotionally, socially, physically, and educationally. It is important that we hear from those most impacted by foster care — the youth.

Read the reflections of one youth in foster care below. Abby’s* resiliency and hope shines through her words.

To truly understand what I’m grateful for you would have to know where I come from. I grew up in a small apartment, which contained me, my mom, and my sister. It was a two bedroom apartment with not a lot of living space. Everyday my momma struggled to make ends meet so me and my sister never had to do without. As I grew up I could see a change in my mother, a weak, faded, tired change in her face, but she always assured us that everything was gonna be okay.

I’m grateful for people like my mom, my sister, and my foster parents who encourage and inspire me to be the best person I can be, who show me to never give up when life gets hard. Without them I couldn’t have become the person I am today. They changed my life for good. They showed me a better way and thanks to them I know the secret to life. People change people and there will always be a guiding hand to your best interest and that’s all I could ever ask for.

A supportive and loving foster home can have significant positive effects on a child, as demonstrated by Abby’s comments.  Foster parents can create an environment for children to thrive in, for the time needed, whether it be short term or long term.

Check out how you can become a foster parent here and ways you can stay informed and involved here.

*Name changed to uphold confidentiality.