FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Marion County officials declared the month of May “National Foster Care Month”.

Marion County Commissioner, Linda Longstreth, read the proclamation on Monday at the National Youth Advocate Program Center in Fairmont. Lonstreth mentioned her history in social services during the reading and congratulated staff on their hard work.

“I know how difficult this can be and how under staffed, and how under funded that you are,” Longstreth said. “But you need more money and you need more staff, and these children need more help and we have so much work to do for them, we have to make this a priority and make it that we can help these children a little more.”

Denise McGinty, Community Resource Coordinator at the National Youth Advocate program, said working in the field is hard but the people she has in her program are motivated to do it because they want to help the children of West Virginia.

Last year the NYAP couldn’t declare May “National Foster Care Month” because of the pandemic. Officials with NYAP said they hope this proclamation will spread awareness about foster care in the county, while honoring those who have already stepped up to be foster parents.

“Sometimes people don’t realize there is a need and you have to let people know there’s a need before they know where they can help,” McGinty said. “Sometimes people want to help but they just don’t know how. So, bringing awareness to the community and let them know this is still on the forefront despite the pandemic, this is still a need. I think it definitely does help make a difference.”

You can find training schedules, flyers and additional information about how to become a foster parent and National Foster Care Month on the National Youth Advocate Program website. You can also find more information on the National Youth Advocate Programs Facebook page.