NORFOLK, Va. - With nearly 1,000 children living in foster care in Hampton Roads, a local non-profit organization is hosting a virtual summit to interest more people in becoming foster parents.
With the COVID-19 lockdown, the annual Foster Care Aware Community Event has been reborn as a virtual community summit on foster care for the month of May.
The Foster Care Aware Virtual Summit kicks off May 4 and runs through May 31. It is open to all who are interested and enrollment is free.
This summit celebrates the families and youth in foster care, and aims to increase public awareness by highlighting the strengths that community can bring to the foster care system within the region.
In addition to sharing inspiring stories of foster care heroes and interactive seminars, this virtual event plans to provide a relaxed environment for attendees to learn about foster care parenting, advocacy, and volunteer opportunities in Hampton Roads. Segments are broken into bite-sized chunks approximately 15 minutes each, that can be easily consumed over a cup of coffee.
“We look forward to organizing the Foster Care Aware Community event every year to celebrate those who give so much of themselves to serving foster children and were heartbroken to cancel it due to COVID-19. Given the current stressors families are facing, we also fear even more children will be entering foster care as we move forward and we want to be prepared. So, we’ve gone virtual with our annual event to continue our mission of introducing foster parenting and advocacy opportunities to a new segment of the local community,” said Audra Bullock, president of Tidewater Friends of Foster Care. “With such a crucial need for foster parents on the horizon, we seek to increase the number of parents willing to help these children by at least 25%.”
Summit attendees will also learn about the organization’s newest initiative, the Prospective Parent Program – PPP is an initiative to help guide and support prospective foster parents through the licensing process and into their first placement.
“Our goal is to bring more people together on behalf of Hampton Roads’ most vulnerable children,” Bullock said. “You don’t have to foster to be part of the solution. This digital community event is aimed at connecting, inspiring and educating more people to build community support for foster children.”
Tidewater Friends of Foster Care programs for foster youth include tutoring, camperships, extracurricular activities and providing birthday and holiday gifts. The organization is funded solely through private donations and foundation grants and offers all programming free of charge.
To sign up for the Foster Care Aware Virtual Summit, visit this link or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.