Every February since its inception, Black History Month has been a way to honor the contributions and legacy of Black leaders both past and present. It is a time to reflect on the impact and change Black people have made on the world, including the world of foster care.
In 1976 when President Ford recognized Black History Month he urged people to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history”.
Over-Represented in Utah
Black individuals make up only about 1% of our population, but Black children in foster care make up about 8%. These children are over-represented in our foster care system, and when they leave their homes they’re at risk of losing more than their families. They may also lose their identity and a sense of belonging to their own community. In the last couple of years, we have seen the challenges and impact all children can face with the loss of connection and belonging, and this is especially true of all children in foster care.
Seize the Opportunity
This Black History Month let’s “seize the opportunity” to help a child in foster care know their story and empower them with knowing who they truly are. You can do this by asking them about their cultural and ethnic identity and making it a priority to embrace who they are.
Several studies have shown that children who have a strong and positive cultural identity have greater self-esteem, higher education levels, improved coping skills, psychological adjustment, and decreased levels of loneliness and depression.
If you want to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable Utah children, contact us to get involved! You can fill out the form below to learn more about becoming a foster parent, or visit https://utahfostercare.org/volunteer/.
Questions about foster parenting in Utah?
We have a team of people near you who can answer them!