Strengthening Minds. Uplifting Families.

This year’s theme, “Strengthening Minds. Uplifting Families.” highlights the need to take a holistic
and culturally responsive approach to supporting the mental health needs of those involved with child welfare.

May 31st is Foster Parent Appreciation Day.

There are many ways to recognize and thank the foster parents who work every day to provide a stable home for the children and youth in foster care. Not only today, but every day, we should recognize and celebrate foster parents for the essential role they play in the development, healing, and success of youth in foster care. As we celebrate foster parents today, we must keep in mind that while their job is an important one, it is certainly not easy. Foster parents not only face their own personal and emotional stress that come as part of the job, but many take on this role without receiving adequate training, support, and the respect they deserve.

-Showing appreciation for foster parents today, and every day |


Cole's Story

Kentucky Foster Family Spotlight

Meet the Clark Family

Christa and Jason Clark state that they got into fostering after waching their friends welcome kids through foster care into their home. With five children already, they decided to start with respite care and state that this has been a perfect fit for their large family. Christina and Jason state “when children come into our home, we are given an amazing opportunity to welcome them, make them comfortable, and ensure them they are safe, warm and fed. They spoil them just a bit while their full-time foster parents are getting much-needed and well-deserved rest. We have had children teach us how to make fried dumplings, introduce us to new movies, motiviate us to visit a park we’ve never been to and many other things.”

The Clarks are a respite family in the Salt River Trail Region. The famiy of 7- has been such an asset to their region and have taken respite placements of hard to place youth, teens and consistently provide respite for many families that need a break. THANK YOU CLARK FAMILY!!

Meet the Malone Family

Colin and Melissa Malone, and their two daughters, opened their foster home in 2019. Since opening their home they have cared for five unique children with varying levels of need. With every child came a different set of challenges but the Malones always rose to the occasion and handled every placement with care. Over time, they have continued to grow and open themselves to new challenges as foster parents.

In the summer of 2022, the Malones expressed an interest in gaining more training to care for medically complex children. Not long after, they were matched with a sweet little boy who desperately needed a medically complex home to meet his needs. The Malones spent months rotating shifts at the hosptial and worked in partnership with medical staff, birth family and caseworkers to advocate for the child. They have navigated a very challenging, fast-paced placement with the higest level of grace.

We would like to thank the Malone family for their dedication and sacrifice as they continue to serve within our foster care system.

Meet the Linkous Family

Jim and Carol Linkous have been fostering with DCBS since March of 2012. They both have a heart of gold and started their foster care journey to help make a difference in the lives of children who have experienced trauma. They both like to cut up and make people feel at home and welcome. Jim and Carol are both very patient individuals and have been open and willing to help out by taking placement of the region’s most hard to place youth. They do not give up easy on any youth that enters their home and have made a huge impact in the lives of so many people over the years. The couple has dedicated their lives to making an impact and difference whenever possible in the lives of youth in OOHC. They also have been able to provide two teenage males with their forever home and they are both thriving and doing well.

Thank you Jim and Carol for your unconditional love and support for Kentucky’s youth!

Key Facts and Statistics

There are over 391,000 children and youth in foster care. Mental and behavioral health is the largest unmet health need for these children and teens.

To meaningfully address the mental health needs of children, youth, and young adults in foster care requires a holistic approach that focuses broadly on their well-being within the contexts of home, family, school, work, and community.

Investing in culturally appropriate mental health supports that recognize an individual’s identity, culture, and lived experience may significantly improve the effectiveness of services and supports and improve long-term outcomes for children and youth.

Relational permanency is fundamental to the well-being of children and youth in foster care. Having stable, nurturing placements has positive impacts on children and youth’s resilience and long-term well-being.

-National Foster Care Month - Child Welfare Information Gateway


KY Faces |

National Foster Care Month | National Today

Tip Sheet on Responding to Youth and Young Adult Mental Health Needs |

What is Foster Care Awareness Month? | America's Kids Belong

What/When is National Foster Care Month? | The Administration for Children and Families

About Us

Kentucky's Just in Time Training is a web based service program designed to connect foster parents, kinship or other caregivers with training, peer experts and other resources. Questions are answered and practical solutions to care for children are discussed - all from the comfort of your home or office.


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