May 1, 2020 Contact: Thomas McCarthy or Gina Paige, 608-422-7800 or email@example.com Foster parents provide stable and loving environments for children across state (MADISON) – With about 7,300 children and youth in foster care throughout Wisconsin, foster families play a critical role in the lives of children who need a temporary home. To highlight their efforts and bring awareness to the need for additional kind, responsible adults to serve as foster families, Gov. Tony Evers has proclaimed May as Foster Care Month in Wisconsin. Foster care provides a safe, loving environment to a child who has been removed from their home due to safety concerns, special care or treatment needs not being met, or other circumstances where parents or family are unable to care for them. Through the help of foster families, children have access to a caring, temporary place to call home while their families make the necessary changes for the child to return to a safe environment. “Foster families are some of our communities’ greatest unsung heroes, providing love and shelter during a family’s most challenging moment,” said Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Emilie Amundson. “They put their needs aside to ensure children receive the love and care they deserve and need. We can never say thank you enough for the selfless contributions they make for others.” While staying safer at home, the department is encouraging communities to show their support for foster and kinship families by putting light blue hearts, ribbons, or other decorations in their windows, doors, or yards during the month of May. By doing so, they will be displaying their gratitude for the selfless work of our foster families. Individuals, businesses, and organizations who decorate their spaces are encouraged to share their photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #FosterCareMonth and by tagging @WisDCF on Twitter and Facebook. Additionally, DCF is providing a one-time payment of up to $300 per child to all licensed foster parents who had a documented placement in the month of April to recognize and support foster families during the current public health emergency. The additional payment will be available to cover allowable increased costs of food, childcare, supervision, additional time, and cleaning supplies due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wisconsin is always in need of more loving and caring foster parents. If you are interested in changing the life of a child through foster care, visit DCF's website.