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Bigby_JudyAnn_2Posted by:
JudyAnn Bigby, MD, Secretary of Health and Human Services

 

Signs of springtime tell us that change is in the air in New England.  After months of bare trees, cold temperatures and short days, signs of vibrant, warm life are returning.   

 

For many students, too, the change in season marks the beginning of a major change in their lives.  As the school year comes to a close, hundreds of high school and college seniors prepare to leave behind the familiar world of academic pursuit, whether high school, GED, or a bachelor’s degree. As they make the transition from youth to adulthood, and go on to pursue other academic or professional goals, students depend upon the support of their friends, family and caregivers. 

 

Among the many graduating students each year are a number of transition-age youth under the care and protection of the Department of Children and Families (DCF).  Many of these youth have faced life-altering, sometimes traumatic, events and circumstances in their short lives.  These youth may be at-risk for abuse, neglect or other obstacles to their success, and may require additional support to realize their hopes and dreams. Recognizing that every young person has the right to achieve success through education, DCF has made educating the youth in our care one of the agency’s top goals. 

 


Thanks to the support and assistance provided by DCF Adolescent Services, including the youth mentoring program and tuition assistance, we have seen record numbers of youth in our care graduate.  Currently, there are more than 500 youth preparing to graduate with the class of 2010.  While these programs have had an undeniable impact on students’ lives, all of DCF’s efforts are in many ways secondary to the work that foster families do on behalf of these youth. 

 

Foster families are everyday people who have volunteered to open their doors to at-risk youth, providing them with the protection, stability, and nurturing environments they need to heal and grow.  Though the time they spend with children in their care may be brief, the impact these unsung heroes have on a child can last a lifetime.  Under their care and guidance, foster care youth are given an opportunity to thrive.

During this season of change and new beginnings, it is fitting that May is National Foster Care Month. It is a time to recognize those individuals who have made a difference in the lives of some of our neediest children, and who recognize that our future belongs to the next generation.  I invite you to take a moment to recognize the families that have made it possible for children in foster care to realize their full potential, and stay on track to pursue their own success.

Written By:


Communications Office

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