May is National Foster Care Month

Strengthening Minds. Uplifting Families.

The Children's Bureau's National Foster Care Month campaign recognizes the important role that members from all parts of child welfare play in supporting children, youth, and families. This year’s theme, “Strengthening Minds. Uplifting Families.” highlights the need to take a holistic and culturally responsive approach to supporting the mental health needs of those involved with child welfare.

About the Campaign

Reflections: Stories of Foster Care

"What I know about trauma and healing is that we heal through relationships. If you are good at connecting with people and empathizing with them, you are going to do fine."

"Mental health awareness isn’t spoken about enough in the world of child welfare, let alone the real world. In order for real change to happen, people need to understand it is more than therapy and medications people need to make the change they want in their life."

Key Facts and Statistics

There are over 391,000 children and youth in foster care. Mental and behavioral health is the largest unmet health need for these children and teens.

To meaningfully address the mental health needs of children, youth, and young adults in foster care requires a holistic approach that focuses broadly on their well-being within the contexts of home, family, school, work, and community.

Investing in culturally appropriate mental health supports that recognize an individual’s identity, culture, and lived experience may significantly improve the effectiveness of services and supports and improve long-term outcomes for children and youth.

Relational permanency is fundamental to the well-being of children and youth in foster care. Having stable, nurturing placements has positive impacts on children and youth’s resilience and long-term well-being.

Include these key points in your messaging to demonstrate the importance of prioritizing conversations about the mental health needs of children and youth in foster care and their caregivers.

Find More Key Facts


View resources that demonstrate how child welfare professionals can support the mental health needs of children and youth in foster care.

View All Resources

Tip Sheet on Responding to Youth and Young Adult Mental Health Needs

Provides child welfare and related professionals with tools to use when responding to the mental health and wellness needs of youth and young adults in foster care.

Behavioral Health Equity

Discusses efforts to reduce disparities in mental health and substance use disorders across various populations, data to articulate and respond to health disparities, and resources to learn how programs are advancing behavioral health.

Mental Health

Find key resources about early childhood mental health and gain a better understanding of how to help children develop the capacity to express and regulate emotions, form trusting relationships, and become emotionally prepared for starting school.


Presidential Proclamation

Read about the President’s commitment to promoting safe, permanent homes for children and providing resources that enhance their well-being.

National Reunification Month

June is National Reunification Month! Honor people and efforts from around the country that make it possible for families to stay together.

Children’s Bureau Message

The Children’s Bureau is focused on putting families first, strengthening them where needed, and helping keep them safe and together!

ACF and Behavioral Health

ACF is committed to advancing the integration of behavioral health support and services into existing social services and early childhood programs.