May is National Foster Care Month and Many Lights kicked it off last weekend by attending the FPAWS Conference. FPAWS, the Foster Parents Association of Washington State, hosts this annual family event for foster, kinship, and adoptive families. The halls of Great Wolf Lodge were filled with the giggles of energetic children ready for the waterpark. Excitement was in the air!
Moms and dads stopped by our table to gather resources and to learn about Many Lights. Everyone I met spoke affectionately about their children and passionately about giving kids, who have nowhere else to turn, the love and kindness they deserve while in care. Many of the parents have adopted from foster care and continue to foster additional children. Some foster parents are also kinship or relative caregivers. This means a foster parent may also be a grandparent, cousin, or aunt.
Hearing their stories reinforced for me that these parents need support and often the services they receive are not meeting the needs of the children. It confirmed our advocacy is as important as ever.
Though this month puts a spotlight on Foster Care, it’s important to note that foster care can include adoption and care by relatives. Many Lights sees foster care as a community of parents and families of different types, all raising children who have experienced trauma and loss. This is why our advocacy and programs support foster, kinship, and adoptive families.
As part of our annual spring drive, I’ll be sharing stories about our latest work and real impact on the kids and families we serve. My hope is you will be moved to make a meaningful difference in their lives through a donation in support of our work.
President and Founder
Many Lights Foundation