by Leslie Ann Jackson, Program Manager, KidsPeace Foster Care, Durham-Chapel Hill, NC 

The first week of May is National Child Mental Health Week, and, this year, the Raleigh and Durham FCCP offices in North Carolina got everyone involved in celebrating the themes of the week. The official color of the week is green, which, in the 1800s, was used to label people who were considered "insane" but is now used to represent the new life, new growth and new beginnings that are the goals of mental health treatment. Throughout the week, KidsPeace staff and foster parents wore green ribbons in recognition of this idea, and, on Tuesday, May 3, all staff dressed in green to show their support.

In addition, the staff, foster parents and children in the Durham-Chapel Hill program enjoyed a planting activity at the office. Those in attendance planted flowers to represent each of the children enrolled in the therapeutic foster care program and also planted seeds in cups to take home and nurture. The weather was perfect, and delicious refreshments rounded-out this fun, family activity.

The Raleigh office chose to celebrate by inviting children who attended SpringFest (a training day for foster parents) to participate in a poster contest, using the National Child Mental Health Week theme of "The Diversity and Resilience of our Families. The children were taught about diversity and resilience before they began and created bright, colorful and thoughtful representations of these concepts. All children were rewarded for their participation, and winners were selected by age group. Most importantly, everyone enjoyed the togetherness and fun of the activities held in each of these offices and were reminded of all there is to celebrate in the world of Child Mental Health.

For more information about foster care in North Carolina as well as Pennsylvania, New York, Maine, Maryland, Virginia, Indiana, Nevada and the District of Columbia, visit fostercare.com, kidspeace.com, or call 866-4-KIDSPEACE (866-454-3773).