Thousands of teenagers across the country are at risk of aging out of the foster care system without permanent families or a sense of belonging. Often youth themselves are reluctant to consider adoption or other permanency because of trauma they’ve experienced, conflicting loyalties to family and caregivers, or fear of lost identity. Yet studies show lifelong connection to a caring adult is critical at every age.

That is why this year during National Adoption Month, the U.S. Children’s Bureau urges us to consider how we can engage youth by listening to their perspectives, understanding their needs, and learning from them to support their path to permanency. 

When we open a channel of communication with youth, we can begin to address the barriers to achieving permanency, and we create opportunities for their well-being along the way. 

National Adoption Month is an annual campaign sponsored by the Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with Child Welfare Information Gateway and AdoptUSKids

Visit the website to find important resources and tools to learn more about how to achieve better outcomes for children and youth in need of finding their “forever family.”

Stay connected throughout the month to help educate your community and raise awareness by following #NationalAdoptionMonth on Facebook and Twitter.