Detroit – Advocates for children in foster care are raising awareness by observing a special day in Michigan, including by turning buildings, bridges and other public places purple.

Tuesday is Foster Care Awareness Day, as declared in a resolution passed by the state Senate.

Advocates are bringing attention to the need for foster parents. They say the number of children in foster care nationwide has grown since hitting a low in 2012.

Samaritas, a nonprofit with foster care offices in Michigan, says experts partially attribute the increase to birth parents dying from opioid overdoses.

Michigan has 13,500 children in foster care due to abuse or neglect.

May is Foster Care Awareness Month. Communities are using lawn flags to represent the number of children in foster care and the number of foster homes.

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