October, ‘Foster Parents Month’ ~Symposium held at the Japanese Red Cross Akita Home for Infants~

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‘Foster parents’ are the people who welcome children into their own homes and raise them when their parents have passed away or are too sick to care for them. Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare designates that October be ‘the Foster Parents Month’ to make the public more aware of the foster parents system in Japan. Symposiums will be held in October in 9 Home for Infants and children’s homes run by the Japanese Red Cross Society.

It is necessary in order for children’s healthy growth that they live in an attachment relationship with a particular adult. The foster system, which can offer this kind of family environment, has been advanced in Western countries, and the rate of foster parents or the rate of children which live in foster parents’ homes because they cannot live with their birth parents amounts to 50-90%.

But the rate remains at only 16.5% on average in Japan because of the lack of understanding of the foster system. Red Cross homes for Infants and children’s homes deal with the public relations of the foster system by training in advance for fostering authorization and raising skills levels under the current circumstances.

The ‘Akita Foster Parents Symposium’ was held on October 15th for the first time in Akita prefecture at the Red Cross Akita Home for Infants and children’s home (Akita City). They responded to a variety of questions about the foster parents system. For example, ‘Are foster parenting and adoption same? ‘Can we get financial support?’
A children’s home can only raise a child until the child starts attending elementary school. After leaving the children’s home, a child who cannot be brought up in their own home until they are 18 years of age needs someone who will make them feel like, “I’m so happy I met my foster parents (you).” The Red Cross is trying to enlighten the public about this system.

Newsletter, October 2016 by JRCS