Dear JCCA Community,

On Mother’s Day this year, I find myself reflecting on the incredible tapestry of motherhood I’ve witnessed in my own life and in the JCCA community. From birth mothers to foster moms, grandmothers to aunties and beyond, all play a vital role in shaping and supporting young people. Mothers and mother figures show children that they matter, that they belong, that they won’t be facing this big and complicated world alone.

No message could be more important. So much of what mothers and maternal figures provide throughout our lives goes unrecognized, especially the small gestures that can make all the difference.  This is one day each year we take the opportunity to acknowledge those who lift us up and make us feel good.  Mothers and mother figures get the spotlight!

We must also acknowledge that Mother’s Day evokes a range of emotions, some of which are deeply personal. None of our individual experiences with mothers and motherhood are quite the same. Because trauma, instability, and distance are part of many of our family histories, and part of the lives of our clients, we hold our hearts open to those who may find this day bittersweet or difficult.

If I’d spent my career in a different field, the concurrence of Mother’s Day, Mental Health Awareness Month, and Foster Care Month in May might not seem especially meaningful. But, as I hardly need to explain to anyone engaged with JCCA, these intersecting factors combined could not be more relevant to our work. It’s as though this month was designed to call attention to the issues we aim to address and the people we are honored to serve. We are embracing this opportunity to raise our voice in our advocacy and across our public platforms.

To all the mothers, caregivers, and maternal figures in our lives, I wish you a day filled with love, appreciation, and joy. Your dedication is an indispensable foundation of our community’s strength, and for that, we are profoundly grateful.

Happy Mother’s Day,