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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words letters@seattletimes.com.

May 21, 2010 at 4:01 PM

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Sen. Claudia Kauffman on May, National Foster Care Month

Posted by Letters editor

More than 8,000 in state foster-care system

Helping Washington’s foster children is a year-round labor of love

May is National Foster Care Month and it has prompted me to reflect on my experiences with the child-welfare system.

Growing up the youngest of seven children in a struggling, working-class family in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood, money was in short supply, but we always had room for another child, be it a cousin or neighborhood youngster. The motto was: “We take care of children.”

Before I had my own children, I became a foster parent. I took in 10 teenagers. They filled my home with love and joy.

More than 8,000 children and youth —through no fault of their own —are in Washington’s foster-care system. The state provides training and guidance for foster parents and comprehensive support for foster children whether they are in the courtroom, in a classroom or “aging out” of the system. However, the real heroes are the foster, relative and adoptive parents.

Foster parents take care of our children during difficult times. They complement the Legislature’s ongoing efforts to provide stability and support for families and children. I encourage more people to step forward.

— Sen. Claudia Kauffman, Kent

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