Foster Care Month - Relative and Kin Connections: Keeping Families Strong


This National Foster Care Month, the Children’s Bureau focuses on the meaningful connections children have with their relatives and the vital role kinship care has in the foster care system.

The Children’s Bureau theme for this year, “Relative and Kin Connections: Keeping Families Strong,” speaks to the positive impact relative and fictive kin have during the journey to permanency. You can read more here.

As Foster Care Coordinators and Kinship Care Coordinators, there are numerous ways you and your colleagues at your agency can express gratitude and appreciation to foster parents and relative caregivers. Consider the following ideas that have been shared with us by Foster Care Coordinators and Kinship Care Coordinators throughout Wisconsin:

  • Foster Parent & Relative Caregiver Banquet
  • Host a Family Picnic
  • Gift cards from local family-friendly establishments
  • Purchase a Champion Classrooms course for your families (see the Five4FosterFamilies coupon code below for additional details)
  • Mail your foster parents and relative caregivers personal letters of appreciation or thank you cards for their care of children throughout the year
  • Drop off gift baskets filled with family-friendly goodies to your foster and relative caregiving families
  • Contact the Kalahari & Mt. Olympus Waterparks in the Dells and ask them about discounted waterpark tickets for foster families
  • Provide families with an extra weekend of respite care
  • Contact your local movie theatre about hosting a discounted movie night for your foster parents and relative caregivers
  • Contact a nearby summer collegiate baseball team and inquire about discounted baseball tickets for families. (Staff at Dane County Human Services have used something similar as an appreciation event and a potential recruitment event.)
  • Organize a drive-through event where families can drive up to a designated location and receive gift bags filled with donations from local businesses
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper proclaiming May as National Foster Care month and expressing your appreciation to your families
  • Contact your local radio station and ask to speak about National Foster Care month and how much you appreciate foster parents and relative caregivers. In addition, you could consider inviting a Foster Parent Champion to talk about how fostering has been a positive experience in their lives!
  • Raise awareness that May is National Foster Care month by posting information on your agency’s foster parent website (if your agency has one). You might also share information on your personal social media profile and encourage your colleagues at your agency to do the same. There are more social media resources listed under the Resources section below.  

These are just a few ideas for your consideration! Whether you and your agency are planning a small event—like a picnic—or a big event—like a banquet—your families will appreciate the time and effort you all put into organizing an event in their honor. And remember, anytime you and your colleagues can personalize your appreciation, such as by sending out a card or letter signed by your Director and your social work team, those messages can have a significant impact. 

The Coalition is offering a promotional discount for May in appreciation of your foster/adoptive/relative caregivers. Use the coupon code Five4FosterFamilies during check out in Champion Classrooms to receive $5 off our webinars and courses. (This promotion excludes the Co-parenting Through Connection course.)


If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Natalie Underwood at or call (414) 475-1246.

All of us at the Coalition would like to thank each of you for your dedication to treating your foster parents and relative caregivers like Gold every day of the year! Thank you for being Champions of children, youth, and families!

Contact a Resource Specialist at the Coalition for Children, Youth & Families if you have any questions or need of additional ideas and resources. 


Coalition Resources

From the Champion Classrooms

Inspiration & Hope from No Matter What Families

Tip Sheet

Additional Resources

We hope this information is useful! We also want to remind you that we are here to help and support you. Please don't hesitate to reach out to the Resource Specialists at the Coalition.

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