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Winston-Salem mayor declares May as Foster Care Month

Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines (The Winston-Salem Journal)

Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines (The Winston-Salem Journal)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Mayor Allen Joines on Friday proclaimed May as Foster Care Month in the city, honoring the foster parents who care for children whose lives have been disrupted.

Joines read his proclamation to about 40 people gathered for “Project Birthday,” a program that provides a birthday cake and gift to every child in foster care in Forsyth County. The ceremony was held at the Forsyth County Department of Social Services and was sponsored by the Forsyth County Women Attorneys Association, Lowes Food, and the EACH Foundation.

Sarah Crotts, the association’s president, said in a statement that “every child deserves to feel special on their birthday, whether they are a toddler or a teenager.”

In his proclamation, Joines said that many people become foster parents and “open their homes, hearts, and lives to these children until the children return to their own families, move to other permanent homes or are adopted.”

There are about 161 children with foster parents in Forsyth County, the mayor said in his proclamation.

“Foster parents frequently adopt their foster children, which results in a continual need for more foster families,” Joines said. “We should honor these men and women for providing love, attention and support to these children and their families in need.”

May is National Foster Care Awareness Month. Kimberly Nesbitt, a foster care program manager, said the need for foster parents is great.

“We could use 100 more foster parents,” Nesbitt said, especially people who can care for siblings.