May 13

A weekly publication of               5/13/2014

Did you know... 

•On September 30, 2012, there were an estimated 399,546 children in foster care.
•More than a quarter (28 percent) were in relative homes, and nearly half (47 percent) were in non-relative foster family homes.
•About half (53 percent) had a case goal of reunification with their families.
•About half (51 percent) of the children who left foster care in FY 2012 were discharged to be reunited with their parents or primary caretakers.
•Close to half of the children (46 percent) who left foster care in FY 2012 were in care for less than 1 year.

Dear Pat,

May is National Foster Care Month, a month set aside to acknowledge foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections.

The focus of this year's initiative is supporting youth in transition through creating meaningful connections, partnering with youth, advancing permanency options, and preparing youth for successful transitions to adulthood. During National Foster Care Month and all year, please think about ways we can work toward ensuring a bright future for the more than 400,000 children and youth in foster care. National Foster Care Month is a great time to celebrate all those who make a meaningful difference in their lives.

Throughout its 100-year history, the Children's Bureau -  the first federal agency within the U.S. government—and in fact, the world—to focus exclusively on improving the lives of children and families - has worked to assist children and youth in foster care; engage youth in decisions that affect their lives; and support foster families, kinship caregivers, child welfare professionals, and others who help these children.

At the turn of the last century, conditions for children in America looked very different from today. More than 1 in 10 infants did not survive their first year. Many children left school to help support their families, often working in dangerous conditions. Orphans were crowded into large institutions, where they received little care or attention.

Lillian D. Wald, founder of the Henry Street Settlement in New York City, and her friend Florence Kelley are credited with conceiving the idea for a Federal agency to promote child health and welfare in 1903. Impressed with the idea, a friend of Wald’s wired President Theodore Roosevelt, who promptly invited the group to the White House to discuss it further. The journey to create the Children’s Bureau had begun.

Many years of nationwide campaigning by individuals and organizations followed. Eleven bills, eight originating in the House and three in the Senate, met with failure between 1906 and 1912. In 1909, President Roosevelt convened the first White House Conference on Children. This meeting brought together social workers, educators, juvenile court judges, labor leaders, and other men and women concerned with children’s well-being, who collectively endorsed the idea of a Federal Children’s Bureau.

In 1912, Congress passed the Act creating the Children’s Bureau and charged it “to investigate and report . . . upon all matters pertaining to the welfare of children and child life among all classes of our people.” President William Howard Taft signed the bill on April 9, 1912. The bill included an initial appropriation of $25,640.

  • Before the creation of the Children's Bureau in 1912, child welfare and foster care were mainly in the hands of private and religious organizations.
  • In 1919, the Children's Bureau published Minimum Standards of Child Welfare, which affirmed the importance of keeping children in their own homes whenever possible and, when that was impossible, providing a "home life" with foster families.
  • In 1923, the Children's Bureau published Foster-Home Care for Dependent Children, an acknowledgment of the growing preference for foster family care over institutional care.
  • During World War II, when more than 8,000 children were evacuated from Europe to the United States, the Children's Bureau oversaw their temporary placement in U.S. foster homes.
  • The Children's Bureau published a draft list of "The Rights of Foster Parents" in the May 1970 issue of its journal Children. That same year, the Children's Bureau sponsored the National Conference of Foster Parents.
  • In 1972, the Children's Bureau sponsored—and President Nixon proclaimed—National Action for Foster Children Week to raise awareness of the needs of children in foster care and recruit more foster parents. The following year, Children published "The Bill of Rights for Foster Children."
  • In 1988, President Reagan issued the first presidential proclamation that established May as National Foster Care Month.

The National Foster Care Month website shares techniques and strategies that support foster parents' efforts to strengthen families, keep children connected, and promote a sense of normalcy for youth while they're in foster care. Learn more:

“There are few things more vital to the welfare of the Nation than accurate and dependable knowledge of the best methods of dealing with children...”
- President Theodore Roosevelt.

Wednesday, May 14, 10am – 1pm, NH House Session, Rochester Representatives Hall, Concord, NH

Click here to see more events in New Hampshire!

Foster care and adoption services information in New Hampshire falls under the Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Children, Youth and Families. The following is from their website.

The children in foster care come from family situations where they have experienced either neglect or sexual, emotional or physical abuse. They range in age from birth to age 18. Some of the youth are children in need of supervision or are delinquent youth. Domestic violence, substance abuse and mental illness may be a part of the family’s history. Children involved with foster care and adoption usually attend the local public school and most children need the opportunity to participate in normal childhood activities in the community.

In New Hampshire, there are approximately 700 children served in foster family care in a given year.

What is Foster Care?

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Division for Children, Youth, & Families (DCYF) investigates allegations of child abuse and neglect. If the assessment indicates a child’s safety are at risk, DCYF petitions the court to have the child removed from their family and placed in a safe, caring, temporary environment. The child may move to a relative’s home or a foster home. There are several types of foster family care. Some are administered by the public agency, DCYF, while private child placing agencies administers others. Basic foster family care is called General Care, and there are also other types of care including Specialized, Emergency, Crisis and Independent Service Option.

Foster families provide homes for children whose families are unable or unwilling to care for them. Every effort is made to help the child remain with his or her family. Foster parents are asked to provide a supportive atmosphere while the biological parents, agency staff, and foster parents work on individual and family issues.

The temporary and complex nature of foster care places special demands on foster parents. They are asked to take someone else’s child into their home, care for the child, and treat the child as a member of their family. The Foster Care Program provides the necessary support and training to enable foster parents to provide daily care and supervision for the child in care.

Home At Last

By: Kathleen Companion, DCYF Foster/Adoption Program

The following is an excerpt from Connector, NH DCYF’s Foster, Adoptive and Relative Resource Care Newsletter.

At any given time, there are approximately 700 children and youth who are in out of home placements. Well over half of these children are placed with you – our foster and relative care families.

Most children entering foster care as a result of abuse and neglect in their home are able to successfully reunify with their family thanks to the hard work and commitment of their parents, their foster parents and the sup- port from professionals. However, when children and youth cannot safely return home, Adoption is the preferred alternative. The State is continually recruiting for families who are ready and able to commit to a child or youth waiting for adoption. Finding the best match for a child is not always easy. Despite concerted efforts, these children wait too long.

The task of finding families who are interested in adopting our Waiting Children has become a bit easier thanks to Mary-Paige Provost and Jean Mackin who have offered us an amazing partnership with NH Chronicle and WMUR. Mary-Paige and Jean became aware of the challenge we faced at finding families for NH’s Waiting Children and decided to take action. They agree with our belief that all children deserve permanency and belong in a family. They offered to develop a presentation similar to Wednesday’s Childin Massachusetts and Home At Last was born. So far, Home At Last has provided child specific recruitment for two of our teens who have been waiting far too long to be matched with a family they could call their own.

Not only are we receiving specific inquiries for the youth being highlighted on NH Chronicle, we are reaching many families who were unaware that this was a need in our state and are now stepping forward to offer their hearts and homes. Our inquiries for new foster and adoptive applicants have doubled as a direct result of Home at Last and the passion and commitment of the show’s producer, Mary-Paige Provost and news anchor, Jean Mackin. We thank them for shining the light on our Waiting Children with grace and compassion and guiding these children Home At Last.

To learn more about becoming a foster care provider, please contact DCYF Foster Care and Adoption Services online or at (603) 271-4711.

Adolescent Updates

By: Robert Rodler, DCYF Adolescent Program Specialist

Affordable Care Act - Health Insurance for Eligible Foster Youth

Effective January 1, 2014, any youth, who is under the age of 26 and exited DCYF foster care placement at the age of 18 or older and who qualified for NH Medicaid at the time of exit, became eligible for health insurance through NH Medicaid. (Placement includes foster, relative, shelter and residential care but not secure detention.)

DCYF will assist youth currently in placement with applying for this new benefit as they transition out of care. Through letters and posting information on our Facebook page and website, DCYF will also be making efforts to reach out to youth who have already exited care. Your assistance in helping to get the word out to your former foster youth who may be eligible would be greatly appreciated.

Please let them know that applications can be completed on-line at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

They can also go to nearest DHHS District Office and request a paper application:

If they have any questions or need further assistance they can contact the 
DCYF Adolescent Worker nearest to where they are living:

MaryLou Beaver
New Hampshire Director
Every Child Matters Education Fund

You can help win the fight for our kids by making a tax-deductible donation to ECM in any amount at

Every Child Matters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to make children a national political priority. For more information, visit
1023 15th St. NW Suite 401 Washington, DC 20005