All posts by Lauren Wimer

May is National Foster Care Month!

May is National Foster Care Month! With many children and youth facing increased isolation over the past year, it is more important than ever for communities to work together to establish meaningful connections for children and youth in care. Learn more. #NFCM2021 #FosterCareMonth

There are over 423,000 children and youth in foster care. Over half have a case plan goal of reunification with their parents or primary caregiver. 

Juvenile and family court systems can influence whether children are reunified with their families or reenter care.

Meaningful and appropriate involvement of youth in their own court hearings and case planning greatly benefits all participants and leads to more favorable outcomes for families.

Competent legal representation for parents is associated with the achievement of timely reunification.

A strong support system of professionals and family can help young people address the challenges they face during their transition to adulthood. Virtual engagement tools can be used to establish and maintain that support system by enhancing connectedness for all involved.

In addition to supporting brain development, encouraging young people to be active participants in planning their own lives supports the development of leadership skills, improves self-esteem, and helps form critical social connections. 

September is…Kinship Month

What is Kinship Care?

Kinship care is a term defined in the Code of Virginia as “the full time care, nurturing and protection of children by relatives.”

Informal Kinship Care

Informal Kinship Care refers to an arrangement made by parents or other family members without any involvement from the court or child welfare system.

Formal Kinship Care

Formal Kinship Care is when legal custody is granted by a formal order of Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Judge to the kinship care provider or the local Department of Social Services. If the Department has legal custody of the child, the child is in Foster Care.

When the child is removed and placed into Foster Care, the agency may place the child with a relative or non-relative approved foster family. Once a child enters Foster Care, they can only be in an approved foster care placement. Relatives wanting to become a Foster Care placement option for a child in care should contact the Department of Social Services to begin the approval process.

In addition to working a Return Home or “Reunification” goal with the birth parents, Virginia law requires agencies to consider relatives as a short term or permanent placement option.

Why is Kinship Care so Important?

When children are placed in Kinship Care, they experience greater continuity of care and family preservation. Children living with kin have a greater sense of permanency, nurturing, safety and well-being. Kinship care also provides an opportunity to continue family connections, culture, traditions, values and goals.

Waiting Children

There are 515,000 children in Foster Care in the United States. There are approximately 5,000 children in Foster Care in Virginia. Of these children, more than 600 are waiting for adoptive families.

See our list of waiting children here.

Meet Issabelle

Meet JoRyan

Meet Alea

Meet Brien

Meet Sade

Meet Amber

Meet Fusion

Meet Kayla

Meet Michael

Meet Savannah

Meet William

Children who age out of the foster care system , those who reach age 18 without achieving a permanent home environment, often face lifetime challenges, including homelessness, incarceration, and a lack of educational attainment.

Could you be someone’s forever family? 

Get to Know… Foster Love Ministries

Foster Love Ministries provides ministry and support to the local foster care community.  We envision a community where foster families and children experience God’s Love through relational support, education, and tangible needs.

Foster Love Ministries wants to spread our message of hope and compassion. We believe that a single action can make a difference in the community, and that collective action can greatly impact the world. Through advocacy and outreach activities, our team works tirelessly each day to contribute their part to the greater good.

Visit this link to learn more about them:


Did you know.. sometimes when a child enters foster care a trash bag is used to hold their personal belongings?  A TRASH BAG!  This is unacceptable.  For very little cost, you can show a child they are loved and not forgotten.  Perhaps you feel called to help, but feel that taking on a foster child is too difficult at this time.  This is an easy way to brighten a child’s outlook.