May is National Foster Care Month. President Obama wrote in a proclamation, “Every child deserves to grow, learn, and dream in a supportive and loving environment. During National Foster Care Month, we recognize the almost 400,000 young people in foster care and the foster parents and dedicated professionals who are in their lives. We also rededicate every child a sense of stability and a safe place to call home.
“While the number of young people in foster care has fallen, those still there face many challenges, including finding mentors to guide their transition into adulthood and getting the support to make that transition a success. One third of foster children are teenagers, in danger of aging out of a system that failed to find them a permanent family.”
There is a desperate need for families to care for our children,” said Jennifer Clements-Jewery, site coordinator with Communities in Schools at Rainelle Elementary and Ronceverte Elementary schools. She attended the Ronceverte City Council meeting Monday night to request the city adopt its policy.
The proclamation goes on: This year, the Affordable Care Act will extend Medicaid coverage up to age 26 for children who have aged out of foster care, allowing them to more easily access quality, affordable health coverage. We are working to break down barriers so every qualified caregiver can become an adoptive or foster parent. Additionally, in the past year, we awarded grants to states, tribes and local organizations to give communities new strategies to help foster children, including methods for finding permanent families, preventing long-term homelessness of young people aging out of foster care, and supporting their behavioral and mental health needs.
In other business:
• Ronceverte Volunteer Fire Department Chief Casey Morgan requested a variance to the city code to permit bucket drives on holiday weekends. Specifically, he asked for Friday, May 23, Saturday, May 24 Sunday, May 25 and Monday, May 26 of Memorial Day weekend from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and again during State Fair week Friday, Aug. 8 and Saturday, Aug. 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Council voted to approve.
• The Ronceverte Community Gardens will hold a “soft opening” on May 17 with a display of the newly sprouting produce now occupying the reclaimed community pool in Island Park. According to City Administrator Reba Mohler, the Community Gardens still have garden spots available for lease. Their Grand Opening will be on June 7.
• Council member Bob Baker stated that the Shriners are taking orders for Vidalia onions. Orders can be made at Ronceverte City Hall where they can be delivered for pickup or Bob says he will deliver them to your home. Please check with City Hall for more information.